Near Chennai, a megalithic site has become a trash

Village panchayat has converted megalithic site in Perumbakkam dating back to 2,500BC into a garbage dump . The site is protected by the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act of 1958 .

Chennai: The local village panchayat has converted a megalithic site in Perumbakkam dating back to 2,500BC into a garbage dump.Though the one-and-a-half-acre plot is protected by the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act of 1958, Perumbakkam village panchayat officials closed it off two weeks ago.Five tractor-trailors are now making multiple trips to dump mixed solid waste there.When Georgia Damin, a resident of the area and a representative of NGO Poovulagin Nanbargal, noticed it, took a photo and reported to the authorities, they said they were told about it a day earlier and that they would send a letter to the revenue department and the panchayat officials and take ownership of the property.

According to a source, we would write to the department and assert ownership.Murugan, the Panchayat block development official, said that there is no land available for solid waste dumping.Since locals are unable to do so, we need a way to divide waste.The panchayat recycles eight tonnes of garbage each day.

The panchayat has 40 conservancy workers to clean 456 streets, and Mourugan said that unless the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board approves the panchayat to use the site to dump garbage, local authorities will turn every vacant area and even waterbodies into dumpsites, according to N Vishwanath, a civil rights activist from Chitlapakkam.Village panchayats, which have just begun separating solid waste, should learn from the mistakes of urban civic bodies that are now investing crores of rupees to close dumpsites and focusing on source segregation, according to Geo Damin.