BENGALURU: The BBMP could face more trouble in its efforts to get rid of waste from the city. People affected by waste dumping, as in Mandur, are backing other villagers fighting the civic body’s proposal to open waste processing units in their areas.
Gopal Rao of Mandur said, “No villager wants his backyard to turn into a dumping yard. We doubt if they (BBMP) will set up processing units. This could be just another eyewash. Officials will make money in the name of processing units.”
“People of Gorur, or any other village, should not give space to set up such units. The villages will become dumping yards gradually,” he said.
“If BBMP had started processing units five years ago and disposed of waste scientifically, this day would not have come for our village. We would not have staged protests too. Now, the public has lost faith in BBMP,” he said.
Ramesh, a gram panchayat member of Mavallipura, said the village was a dump yard 12 years ago, and the villagers are suffering even today because of this. “We are now worried about our agricultural land as BBMP now wants to have a processing unit to handle 300 tonnes of waste, but the unit has a capacity of just 94 tonnes,” he said.
He said the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board in 2012 directed that the dumping yard be shut, and the accumulated waste processed. “Even after two years, not even a fistful of waste has been processed. They lie every time,” he said.
As governments, mayors and commissioners change, they just blame others and do not take responsibility. “The villagers who are now protesting elsewhere including Gorur should not allow BBMP to set up waste processing units. They will spoil the villages and after a few years, blame it on others,” he said.
Mahadeva (name changed), a farmer of Gorur, said people of Mandur and Mavallipura know the problems they are suffering and they do not want other villagers and farmers to get affected due to the garbage mafia.
“A farmer can understand the plight of another farmer. It is we who grow grains and not the state government or BBMP. All that these elected representatives want is to get rid of garbage from Bengaluru. We shall not allow the setting up of a processing unit, no matter what promises they make,” he added.
Shankariah M of Bingipura village said waste is being dumped at an abandoned quarry. After the BBMP stopped sending waste to Mandur, many other villages including Bingipura will be burdened with more waste, he said.
“When we question them, BBMP officials say they will fill the quarry with waste and put soil on top. They promised to develop a park on it and that this place will become a tourist hub. Initially, we dreamt of it, but we know the reality. Let the villagers prevent BBMP’s plans,” he said.
‘We Will Convince Villagers’
BBMP Commissioner M Lakshminarayana told Express that people are seeing the bad examples of the past. “They do not have confidence in BBMP. We are trying to show them what are we doing will be the best practice. Unfortunately, the villagers are protesting. We will convince them, and we cannot escape from waste,” he said. He also said if the villagers are willing to work and are qualified enough, they will be given priority in recruitments for the processing units.