BENGALURU : When Sindhu Gopalakrishnan waits with her daughter for the school bus to arrive on Kanakapura Road in Jaraganahalli, she gets a headache from the stench emanating from a garbage dump nearby. Wet, dry and sanitary waste are dumped here, encroaching the footpath and road-side. "When the trash collects for days together, your feet goes a few inches into the muck. The spot has two bus stops, an auto stand and boarding point for school buses," says Sindhu, adding,“This black spot has been around for two years. It took so long for BBMP to accept that it is a transfer point for auto tippers to unload garbage onto the bigger truck.”
242 taxpayers of the HMT apartment, opposite this spot, spent money from their own pocket to install two CCTV cameras. Resident Abdul Aleem says,"We caught them red handed on our cameras. We could clearly see that most of the garbage is from BBMP autos and trucks. There also also regular people who come on two wheelers and throw waste over it, but it is mostly done by the corporation's contractors."
“The stench is horrible. One of the residents got Chikungunya recently. This mess has taken over the entire footpath. The authorities only visit when we complain or protest, and make empty promises,” Abdul adds.
Sindhu emphasises that the problem is not of cleaning but of the dumping itself.
“Apart from contractors, non-veg restaurants dump a lot of meat waste. This invites eagles, dogs, rodents and cows. The spot is not identified as an official transfer point but is treated as one. Different people are using this vast space also for their own activities - construction sand, pottery, flower pot businesses and even a mechanical shop,” she says. In April 2018, the locals staged a protest and took the help of pourakarmikas to clean the spot. The officials turned up to clear it too but the dumping resumed soon after.
Is pile result of ward wars?
Mahesh, health inspector of Jarganahalli ward says,“Auto tippers from the neighbouring Yelachenahalli ward come and use this point illegally as a transfer point. However, most of the dumping is done by residents only. Though it is not within my jurisdiction, I have been planning for a month how to clean and beautify this spot.” He promises to seize and fine contractors, place flower pots along the footpath and paint the barricades. hivalingaiah, health inspector of Yelachenahalli ward, says, "Autos and hotels from the neighbouring Jarganahalli, Anjanapura and Konakunte areas come and dump garbage here. We tried cleaning it earlier but dumping continued.
We will have to clean it once and for all by Monday." BBMP began clearing the spot with JCB diggers on Thursday. However, it was stopped soon after when the owner of the property intervened and asked for time until Sunday, to install barricades. Dumping of garbage by hotel owners resumed the same night, the residents claim. Santosh Kumar, AEE of South Division SWM, says, "Autos drivers do not wait for garbage trucks to enter into the lanes, they say that it takes time for trucks to arrive. So they dump it in this spot on the main road.” “There seems to be a clash between the two wards. One is blaming the other for the dumping and neither is claiming responsibility for it. The owner has agreed to get this cleaned on Sunday.”
We’ll get to the bottom of this’
Assistant Commissioner, Solid Waste Management, Srinivas Murthy says, “The first priority is to clean the place. It should be stopped being used as a transfer point. We want a final solution and we will get to the bottom of who is causing the dumping.”