BENGALURU: Dry waste collection centres (DWCC) set up in a park in Poorna Prajna Nagar, Uttarahalli ward, has turned its largely green environs into a garbage dump, say residents.
Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has set up DDWCs in parks and playgrounds across the city, where the dry waste is to remain till taken to recycling plants. However, the centre in this neighbourhood, bordering a coconut farm, unsegregated, not dry, waste is dumped, residents allege.
Moreover, the waste is not contained within the sheltered area, or even within the park; City Express found bags dumped on the sidewalk outside.
“The waste has never been stored properly in the shed built for it. It is strewn all over the park and even spills on to the road,” says Suma Sitaram, whose house is opposite the park.
The stink and flies make living here unbearable, she says. “In the beginning, authorities had promised they would bring only dry waste and store it in such a way that none of the residents would be affected. But we see wet waste too along with dry waste.”
Two weeks of rains has turned the place into piles of rotting waste, swarming with flies and mosquitoes. Srinivas, who also lives in the locality, says flies swarm around as soon as residents step out of their homes. Bags or bits of waste that tumble down from trucks bringing them to the DWCCs attract the flies, he claims. “Who will pick up these huge bags of waste?” he asks. “When we ask the lorry drivers, they say it is not their duty even though the bags have fallen down from their vehicles.”
Following complaints from residents, BBMP authorities rushed to the spot -- at 6th Main, 8th Cross -- sandwiched between Poorna Prajna Nagar and Srinivasa Colony, and assured them the park and surrounding roads would be cleared of the waste in two days.
Even when BBMP decided to use parks and playgrounds to store dry waste, citizens had demanded that the idea be scrapped, given the haphazard segregation system and transport. However, the civic body launched the scheme as activists and citizens blocked the entry of garbage trucks to landfills in villages.
Residents further complain that BBMP is not checking regularly how even wet waste is being brought and sorted at the parks.
“Why can’t they (BBMP) strictly enforce segregation at the source, instead of bringing mixed waste to our doorsteps from other places,” says a concerned citizen who did not wish to be named. “BBMP is taking ad hoc decisions and creating more problems for the citizens. Parks were never meant for waste disposal and this will prove to be a disaster in the long run.”
Wet paper to blame, says official
BBMP Health Inspector (Bommanahalli Zone) Shashi Kumar, who rushed to the park after City Express contacted him, said all debris would be cleared within two days. However, he claimed, BBMP was not bringing wet waste to the collection centre. “It is mixed waste as over the last 15 to 20 days even paper and cardboard have become soggy because of the rain. Hence the bad smell.” The bags which have spilt over would also be cleared, he said. “We will clean and fumigate the entire area around the park. It is only recently that we are facing such a problem as waste has accumulated and the continuous rains have made it worse.”
When it all started
In 2013 the BBMP started to sort and store waste at parks and playgrounds. This did not go down well with the residents and residents welfare associations. It was decided to use a corner in these CA sites to dump dry waste in wards where no other space was available for this purpose. The initial plan was to store dry waste in these spaces for as long as possible and then send it to a recycling plant. However, citizens fear that if not maintained properly, the situation in residential areas where the DWCCs are located might become similar to the Mandur landfill.
Residents avoid parks
Local Swachch Bharat activists say since most waste collection units are located in small parks, the storage of ‘dry waste’ during the rainy season poses problems if not cleared very fast. Further, the movement of garbage trucks in the interiors of residential layouts has already caused health and hygiene problems. So residents avoid these parks, they say.