BANGALORE: Instances of BBMP contractors and pourakarmikas burning leaves and garbage is not new to the city.
Even a year ago, there were complaints of garbage being dumped and burnt in a quarry near Begur Lake and residents nearby fought hard against the garbage being burnt near the lake.
But, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) finally pulled up their socks and decided to slap fines against the violators recently.
The Palike said that if you find garbage being burnt on the streets and you bring it to their notice, you will be rewarded Rs 1000.
BBMP Commissioner MK Shankarlinge Gowda said, "If anyone produces a photograph of garbage being burnt on the roadside, then we will reward them Rs 1,000 in cash." But, unfortunately there were many pourakarmikas who were not even aware of the recent development thanks to lack of communication or ongoing training to the Class 4 (pourakarmikas) workers.
Kala, a pourakarmika under the BBMP Ward number 95 (Subash Nagar) said, "We just collect the waste and hand it over to the lorries which come to collect the garbage.
We don't burn it.
Once the garbage is collected, I don't know how it is disposed off." When asked if she was aware of the rule against burning of leaves and garbage, she was clueless about the same.
Narayana, supervisor of the Health Department (BBMP) who was busy instructing the pourakarmikas on Vattal Nagraj Road said, "Once the garbage is collected by sweepers in the morning, it is the duty of BBMP contractors to transport it to the dumping yard and then convert it into compost.
Even before the rule came into effect, I never let the workers burn the garbage or leaves.
BBMP has also decided to slap a fine of `10,000 on the area contractor.
It is now my partly my responsibility too." But, some civic workers on anonymity said that, "The capacity is limited in the garbage lorries.
It's only then we end up burning the waste.
But, now since you have informed us about the rule, we will be careful." Other than being illegal, burning of leaves/ garbage is hazardous as it increases air pollution and respirable suspended particulate matter levels.
BBMP Joint Commissioner (South) Hemachandra said, "This is not a new rule.
It's just that we are taking action against the violators now.
If you go through the garbage tender agreement, one of the clause mentions that burning of leaves is not allowed and we are educating the pourakarmikas from our end."