Kaanum Pongal, celebrated on January 17, is the third day of the Pongal festival earmarked specifically for people to visit their relatives, hang out at tourist spots and enjoy a good time together with close family members and friends. However, the morning after in public spaces like the beach, parks, zoo, monuments, places of worship, become dumping grounds of waste and the clean-up is a monumental task for the conservancy workers.
According to the Corporation officials, the quantity of waste generated from city beaches was close to 26 tonnes this year. According to The Hindu, the civic body and the private conservancy operator reportedly collected 15.8 tonnes of waste from the Marina, and 10 tonnes from Elliot’s beach.
This, however, is close to 5 tonnes more than the amount collected from last year. In 2019, Chennai Corporation reportedly collected close to 20.5 tonnes of waste from the two beaches.
Compare this to 2018’s revelry when Chennai Corporation reportedly collected 44 tonnes from Chennai’s Marina, Elliots, New Beach, Kottivakkam, Palavakkam and Neelankarai put together, on the morning after.
Noting that there was a significant reduction in plastic waste collected, a Corporation official reportedly told The Hindu that the waste collected at Marina was just twice its regular collection. Around eight tonnes of garbage is collected daily from the Marina.
According to TOI’s report, the waste collected after Kaanum Pongal from Elliots Beach is just three times the daily average of about 3 tonnes.
Based on police estimates, more than 1 lakh people visited Marina and over 5,000 people visited Elliot’s beach.
Reportedly, more than 120 conservancy workers, apart from a compactor and six beach-cleaning vehicles were deployed to collect the trash at Marina. At Elliots beach, 40 conservancy workers were employed.
Every year, Chennai faces the most amount of trash on this day, predominantly on the sands of Marina and Elliot’s beaches. In 2013, 59 tonnes of garbage was collected from these two major beaches, which reduced to 36 tonnes in 2017.