BANGALORE: BBMP councillors on Friday claimed that a garbage contractors’ mafia is still in control in many wards granted to new contractors.
At the council meeting, Yediyur ward councillor N R Ramesh said while cities like Mumbai and Chennai spend around `191 crore and `131 crore per annum, respectively on solid waste management, Bangalore spends around `430 crore a year.
This includes pourakarmikas’ salary and dumping yard tipping fees.
“When solid waste management can be done with just `140 crore, the BBMP is spending an additional `250 crore every year. This is because of nothing but the garbage contractors’ mafia,” he alleged.
Ramesh said last year, the High Court had directed BBMP to terminate old garbage contracts in 93 wards and manage garbage collection on its own till new tenders were called. In some of the wards, new contractors have taken up work but are being controlled by the old ones, he maintained.
Ramesh cited the example of a contractor who was recently awarded the tender to clean Vasanthnagar and Sampangiram Nagar wards. He had taken a loan for `75 lakh to buy vehicles.
“On March 19, after he showed his machinery and men, the tender was awarded to him. BBMP officials issued work order and told him to start working from March 20. But just two days later, they cancelled his tender, citing unsatisfactory work. How can one judge a person’s work in a day or two?” he asked.
Ramesh also said the registration numbers of the garbage trucks and auto tippers indicate that most of the vehicles belong to the old garbage contractors. He claimed that zonal commissioners and other officials were aware of the garbage mafia and should be held responsible. Special Commissioner Yeshwanth echoed this and said the zonal commissioners involved have violated a High Court order and should be punished accordingly.
Meanwhile, Sampangiram Nagar councillor Gopi said garbage collection is poor around the Vidhana Soudha and Raj Bhavan which fall in his ward, despite the VIP movement in these areas.