BENGALURU:The High Court on Friday slammed BBMP and the State government for not paying arrears of Rs 150 crore to pourakarmikas and garbage contractors for the past five months.
A division bench of Justices N Kumar and B V Nagarathna warned that a Mandur-like situation would occur everywhere in Bengaluru if the problem of waste disposal is not addressed. The bench was hearing a batch of public interest petitions on Solid Waste Management (SWM).
The bench said that collection, segregation and transportation of waste is not being done properly as pourakarmikas and contractors are not being paid.
“Solid Waste Management does not seem to be a priority for the government. If it is not taking any action, we will say that the Corporation and the government have no money and the administration has collapsed. Stop development work and give priority to garbage. Invite Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to discuss the problem,” the bench told BBMP Commissioner M Lakshminarayana and Special Commissioner (SWM) Darpan Jain, who were present in the court.
Although a special commissioner has been appointed, he has no authority to act against contractors as bills are not being cleared, the bench observed.
Refusing to give two months time to BBMP to come up with a solution, the bench adjourned the matter to March 3 to find out if arrears are cleared and requisite funds are arranged for SWM. Further directions can be given only after earlier orders are complied with, the bench noted.
Lakshminarayana and Darpan Jain said people were protesting in every ward and village where sites are identified for scientific disposal of waste. BBMP has to spend Rs 30 crore every month on salaries of pourakarmikas and payments to garbage contractors, they added.
‘Ensure Safe Air Show’
The bench directed the authorities to take all precautionary measures to ensure a safe air show at Yelahanka. To avoid possible mishaps, police should stop sale of meat and non-vegetarian food in nearby areas, the court said.
The Indian Air Force informed the court that the banned catfish are being reared in two ponds near Mavallipura landfill which is attracting birds as animal waste is being used to feed the fish. The Bengaluru Urban Deputy Commissioner, however, told the court that all catfish ponds were destroyed and criminal action has been initiated against people rearing them.
Plea Against Community Hall
The High Court on Friday issued notice to the Urban Development Department, Bangalore Development Authority and Vidyaranyapuram Culture and Art Centre on a petition against the construction of a community hall on a site reserved for playground and park in Narasipura Layout.
Petitioners K Ramesh and others alleged that the Art Centre is constructing the community hall on a site measuring 100x50 ft, violating the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act. No action was taken by the BDA and BBMP, despite representations given to them, they contended.
Advocate G R Mohan, representing the petitioners, said they have requested the court to direct the BBMP and BDA to take back the possession of the site and restore it as park and playground.
‘Fill Vacant Posts’
The High Court on Friday set a four-month deadline for the State government to fill vacant posts of chairman and members in district consumer forums across the state.
A division bench of Chief Justice D H Waghela and Justice B V Nagarathna also directed the state to constitute consumer forums in the three new districts of Ramanagaram, Yadgir and Chikballapur and provide necessary infrastructure.