On Saturday, July 17, morning, Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian inspected the Porur lake, which is choking with COVID-19 waste, including masks, gloves, PPE kits, hospital waste and general waste. According to reports, last week, heaps of waste related to COVID-19 treatment in Chennai city were dumped in the lake. The minister said that strict action will be taken against persons responsible for dumping waste into the lake. The Minister was accompanied by Tamil Nadu Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan on the visit.
This is the first time that a minister has visited the spot where biomedical waste has been dumped in the city. Speaking to the media, the Health Minister said, â€śThe police have not taken action so far because we donâ€™t know who is behind this act. Whoever it is, whichever hospital it is, even local bodies are not allowed to dump garbage here. We are going to close the entrance. Henceforth, whoever dumps garbage or medical waste, the police officials will take action as per the law.â€ť
â€” Pugalventhan Venkatesan (@pugalventhan_91) July 14, 2021
Several reports in the past have highlighted the indiscriminate dumping of biomedical waste in Porur lake. Strict protocols have been put in place regarding the safe disposal of COVID-19 waste and other medical waste in the city.
Residential units, particularly with COVID-19 patients or suspected cases, must segregate their waste and dump the COVID-19 waste in a yellow bag, which is provided by the city corporation. In theory, these bags are then collected separately and then taken to incinerators in the city. They do not go to landfills where solid dry waste is dumped.
Regarding Porur lake, the Health Minister added that the lake was spread over 252 acres while the catchment area is just 50 acres and the rest of the area is filled with garbage and water hyacinth. He also added that the DMK government will take efforts to restore the lake by sending a proposal through the Public Works Department (PWD). Further, access to vehicles will be blocked to the lake so that waste cannot be dumped into the water, he said.