Declaring that garbage should not be dumped in landfills, High Court Justice N Kumar on Sunday said he would issue an order to the BBMP to set up garbage processing units in each of the Assembly constituencies in its limits.
Justice Kumar made the statement while he was inspecting landfills with Justice Nagarathna. Addressing reporters after the inspection, Justice Kumar said segregation units must be set up so that the processing of waste is completed within the constituency limits. He warned of strict action, including cancellation of licences, against contractors who did not ensure proper segregation of waste.
The two HC judges visited the waste segregation unit in Kuvempunagar ward, Mavallipura landfill and the Terra Firma processing unit in Doddballapur. They were accompanied by BBMP Commissioner M Lakshminarayana.
Residents of Vidyaranyapura and Yelahanka, who came to the Kuvempunagar unit, blamed contractors for the absence of proper segregation in their wards. They claimed that lack of manpower and specialised equipment were key reasons for the non-segregation of waste. “Ever since a new contractor took over in December last year, the existing manpower of over 100 persons was cut to 53. They promised more equipment as well, but it did not happen,” a resident said.
Kalathur Layout Resident Welfare Association president R Premchand said the Palike had turned a blind eye to the problems of residents. “To win tenders, contractors show less number of workers and quote low amounts for the work. As a result, the waste does not get segregated and during rains, the areas get badly affected. The garbage also attracts stray dogs,” residents said.
The BBMP Commissioner said the civic body would implement all recommendations made by Justice Kumar and added that the setting-up of the units in each Assembly segment would also be cost-effective as it reduces transportation costs.
Apart from the existing dry waste segregation unit in Kuvempunagar, the BBMP plans to set up a wet waste management facility in the ward. However, this will be built in the vicinity of the ward where slum dwellers live. “Since the facility will have to be set up where the slum presently exists, we plan to build it once the rehabilitation of the slum dwellers is completed,” Lakshminarayana said.
At Mavallipura too, the inspection team had to listen to the civic woes of local residents. Muniraju, president of the Gantaganahalli Gram Panchayat, said, “Lot of people have died and many are affected. The groundwater is polluted and even cattle are yielding less milk while goats and sheep are having skin diseases. We want the people responsible for this mess to be punished and we had filed a PIL in the HC a year ago.”