BENGALURU: Mavallipura is angry. As the BBMP gets ready to start a waste processing unit at the village in the next week, its residents are preparing to fight back.
“We will not allow it even if it is contempt of court,” said farmer Mahesh (name changed) on the waste processing unit. “We have seen what happened before. We will not give BBMP another chance to fool us,” he said.
In 2012, the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board had ordered the closure of a landfill site at Mavallipura after the villagers staged a protest against it. Since then, the BBMP has not sent any garbage trucks there. But nearly 35 lakh tonnes of old waste has remained at the landfill.
The villagers believed the waste was affecting agricultural activities at Mavallipura, Lingarajapuram, Mylapanahalli, Ramagondanahalli, Subedarpalya, Kurubarahalli, Muttugadahalli, Chikkabylakere, Doddabylakere, Kondashettyhalli, Madugerehalli and Shivanakotehalli. The closure of the landfill had brought them some relief. But they are now concerned about the processing unit being set up close to their land.
Anil, a farmer at Kurubarahalli, which is very close to Mavallipura, told Express that he cultivates onions, tomatoes and grapes, and the yield has been better after the BBMP stopped sending waste. “Our health has improved too,” he said.
“If the proposed waste processing unit starts here, our health will again be affected,” he said.
However, Mayor Shanthakumari told Express that the garbage will be processed at the already existing processing unit as per the High Court’s direction. The unit will be maintained by Ramky Enviro Engineers and will handle 300 tonnes of wet waste which will be converted to manure. “We will divert the waste which is being sent to the Mandur landfill site to the Mavallipura waste processing unit. The company has been authorised to sell the manure it produces. Mavallipura farmers will get a concession (if they buy this manure),” she said.
When asked about the villagers’ opposition to the processing unit, Shanthakumari said the civic body will have no other option but take police protection to process the waste there.
First Process Accumulated Garbage: MLA
Yelahanka MLA S R Vishwanath, under whose constituency Mavallipura falls, has claimed that the BBMP officials did not give a complete picture to the High Court while submitting documents. They misled the judges, he charged. “Let them process the accumulated garbage first. What is the need to take new waste there?” he asked. However, he said there was no problem in setting up a waste processing unit there.