Plastic shroud snuffing out Chennai’s waterbodies

Massive quantities of floating plastic waste in lakes and waterways, brought in by stormwater drains and sewers, are cutting off the supply of oxygen to plants and fish, resulting in the death of the aquatic ecosystems. The result: sewer-like conditions in waterbodies, rendering them unfit for use.

Plastic is slowly but surely choking Chennai’s waterways. Floating on rivers, clogging drains, forming an impermeable film over lakes, choking fish and killing animals that drink from them.

Stormwater drains, so crucial during the monsoon for the discharge of rainwater, are clogged with the plastic that many commercial establishments dump in them. Illegal sewer inlets into rivers and unofficial drains are chock-full with muck and plastic, including food wrappers, cups, covers and packaged water bottles.

Plastics and packaging materials now form 7% of municipal solid waste. The absence of source segregation, inadequate street sweeping and timely removal of garbage from bins have led to this sorry state of affairs.

Unabated dumping

Residents along canals have also been dumping plastic waste in the waterways. MGR Canal in K.K. Nagar is one such example. According to official estimates, residents dump around 10 tonnes of plastic waste every day into the canal that connects Rajamannar Salai and Adyar River. Dumping of plastic waste in the Ekangipuram Canal near Perambur Railway Station has also been a challenge for civic agencies. “More than 30% of the waste in stormwater drains is plastic,” said an official.....Read more


Source web page: The hindu

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