BENGALURU: In the run-up to the BBMP elections, both the Congress and the BJP are trying to capitalise on the Swachh Bharat report which declared Bengaluru the cleanest state capital.
In the report released on Saturday, the Urban Development Ministry had surveyed 476 towns on two main criteria - solid waste management and open defecation.
The survey has come in handy for the Congress, which heads the government in the state, and the BJP, which headed the civic body, to claim credit for the achievement.
District In-charge Minister Ramalinga Reddy said, “Two years back the city was considered to be the garbage city of the world. It is because of the constant effort from the state government that the authorities have finally chalked out a plan to process the 4,000 metric tonnes of garbage generated per day.”
He said it is too early to celebrate over the report but the state government’s investment of around `400 crore to set up six processing plants in the city has helped it achieve this feat. Not a single penny was invested by the BBMP in setting up the plant and hence the BJP-headed civic body should not blow its own trumpet, he said.
On the other hand, S Suresh Kumar of the BJP said, “The report has come at a time when the Congress is reluctantly participating in the BBMP election, but the credit should go to each and every citizen of the city along with the successive mayors, commissioners and corporators.”
This achievement is the result of the relentless effort in the last two to three years by the BBMP, which wanted to avoid the tag of ‘garbage city of the world’, he said. The success has increased the challenges for the city as even a small deviation will attract big attention now, he said.
The euphoria over the cleanest city tag was however criticised by Revathi Ashok, executive officer of Bangalore Political Action Committee (B PAC). “It is too early to celebrate,” said Revathi. “This is a relative grading, which only proves that other capital cities are filthier than Bengaluru and garbage is still a problem haunting the silicon valley of India. The first step towards garbage reduction is to reduce the visual display of garbage, increase the number of methanation plants, and decrease the number of landfills,” she said.
Nevertheless, the political parties have got a new issue to thump their chest in pride ahead of the BBMP elections. In this race to claim credit, it is the residents who have been caught on the wrong foot as garbage dumped along roadsides is a common sight in the city.
Fehroz, a techie residing in Lalji Nagar area, said, “It is a bad joke by the urban development ministry. Every morning I see people peeing on the walls of National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences while going to office. Garbage being dumped on the roadside in my colony is a common sight. So I fail to understand this report.”