Wasting the waste converter

The composting machine or the Organic Waste Converter (OWC) which was installed at the Malleswaram market two years back has been lying idle for the past six months.

Published: 18th June 2013 07:35 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th June 2013 07:35 AM   |  A+A-

The BBMP may talk dime a dozen about their achievements but when it comes to the question of maintenance of its existing facilities, it is pathetic. The composting machine or the Organic Waste Converter (OWC) which was installed at the Malleswaram market two years back has been lying idle for the past six months. This converter which can generate one ton compost per day is not serving the purpose for which it was installed with the result, piles and piles of garbage is accumulating in the vicinity. 

NS Ramakanth, a solid waste management expert and member, Solid Waste Management Round Table (SWMRT) is looking into the matter. He said,”Two years ago, we set up the Organic Waste Convertor with active support of MLA Ashwath Narayan C N. Today it is  sad to see a product worth Rs 22 lakh lying completely idle. In fact, even the shed which was built to protect the composting machine has been destroyed.

I really don’t understand what is holding them back. The moment we raise the issue, the blame game starts with both BDA and BBMP passing the buck. Actually, a place near Chowdaiah Memorial Hall has been identified for shifting the machine but we still don’t know why it is taking such a long time.”

Delaying tactics

MK Nanjaiah, Assistant Executive Engineer, Malleswaram Sub-division who is on the job said, “We will be shifting the convertor once the electrical connection is installed at the new place near Palace Guttahalli. We are pushing the BESCOM to get it done fast. It is not in our control, we have to wait but we will shift as soon as possible,” he said

On the other hand, G Manjunath Raju, Corporator of Malleswaram ward said, “Who is Ramakanth to decide about its shifting? There are so many people who are working as volunteers towards waste management but here is someone who is keen to hit the spotlight.”

According to Manjunath, this is a temporary problem which will be sorted out soon. “This converter was basically used for degrading the waste generated from the Malleswaram market including the waste thrown by the surrounding temples. Our sole aim was to keep the temple surroundings clean as my ward has a plethora of temples generating a huge amount of waste.” The Corporator futher added, “The shifting was postponed because of the assembly elections.

Our initial plan was to shift the convertor before the start of the construction work of the Malleswaram market (which was demolished three months back) and even the contractor had taken up the responsibility to shift this machine.

However, he seems to be least enthusiastic after the demolition of the market and is now taking his own sweet time. Meanwhile, the concerned authorities are looking into the matter. We also realise the value of the machine and we will be addressing the matter soon.”

Public reaction

According to the local residents, the machine always came in handy for waste segregation purposes. But they claim the authorities are least bothered to keep it at a safe place. Even the shed which was housing the OWC machine was demolished by the Corporation without any information.

As for re-building of the Malleswaram Market, BBMP should realise that the Mantri Mall at the end of Sampige Road is already causing huge traffic congestion. They are further cheating the public and the vendors by giving false promises of taking up the market work which is absolutely false. On the other hand, the hoarding outside the market also denotes that the plans are for a mall. Here the question is does this stretch requires another mall?” fumes MMC Krishna. Manjunath T, a vegetable vendor inside the market concludes, “The shed was constructed just last year spending lakhs of rupees and destroyed without any concern.  Amongst the large community of vegetables vendors,  a few of them got a stay order while some of them  not understanding the usual BBMP gimmicks went by the order. But the stalemate continues with no solution in sight.”

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