BANGALORE: Upa Lokayukta Justice S B Majage on Thursday directed Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) authorities to clear accumulated waste at Mandur. A day after visiting the village, Justice Majage convened a meeting to discuss the issue.
BBMP Commissioner M Lakshminarayana said the civic body did not have other options, to which Justice Majage said the welfare of Mandur villagers needs to be considered.
“We need to check how to dispose this accumulated waste. People there are suffering. Disposing the waste should be considered as an emergency. If you (BBMP) take two to three years to clear it, should the villagers suffer till then?” the Upa Lokayukta questioned.
When asked if he had given any specific order to the BBMP, Majage said: “BBMP authorities have explained various projects and proposals. I have told them to establish ward-level bio-methane plants where five to ten tonnes of wet waste can be disposed”.
Freedom fighter H S Doreswamy, who was present at the meeting, spoke about the street dog menace. “There are more than 200 dogs at the landfill site. The dogs, which are now eating leftover meat in the garbage, might also attack human beings”, he warned.
‘BBMP Has Plans’
Lakshminarayana said around 20 lakh tonnes of waste is accumulated at the Mandur landfill. “If we take up bioremediation (a technique to remove or neutralise pollutants at a contaminated landfill site), the problem of accumulated waste can be resolved to some extent. It requires `80 crore and the BBMP is ready to take it up”, he informed.
He proposed that the bioremediated waste be converted to manure and this be supplied to farmers across the state.
Further, the Commissioner maintained that the BBMP was sending 1,800 tonnes of waste to the Mandur landfill every day after a dumping yard at Mavallipura was closed.
“It will be gradually reduced to 500 tonnes after waste processing units are set up in the coming months”, he was optimistic.
He further added that if the Mavallipura landfill is reopened, 50 per cent of the burden on the Mandur landfill could be reduced.
‘Villagers Ready to Go to Jail’
Doreswamy said Mandur villagers, “who are already being punished for no fault of theirs”, are now being penalised under Section 144.
“It is a shame the administration imposed Section 144 and forcibly sent waste to the landfill. We shall give them two days’ time to lift the prohibitory orders. If not, we have no choice but to break it. Villagers will fight and are ready to go to jail,” he told reporters.
Man’s death attributed to landfill
Narayana Rao, a 75-year-old resident of Mandur, died on Thursday evening due to respiratory problems. He was suffering from a respiratory ailment for the past three years, his family said. They blamed the accumulated waste in their backyard for his death. “Authorities should at least wake up now. If the garbage situation continues, more worse days can be expected,” said a relative of the deceased.
We will fight BBMP: Villagers
Sources in the BBMP said around 300 garbage trucks were sent to the Mandur landfill on Wednesday night with police protection. “We shall do it in a similar way on Thursday night too,” an official said. Gopal Rao, a Mandur resident, said the BBMP’s assurances have remained on paper and there has been no action on the ground, leaving them with no option but to fight. Denying allegations that a land mafia was behind the issue, he said: “We are villagers and one cannot live in such a pathetic condition”.