BENGALURU: Gorur residents are up in arms, continuing to protest against setting up of a waste processing unit at their village in Ramanagaram district.
France-based Satheram Company has won the tender to generate power from 1,000 tonnes of waste sent in by Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). But villagers say they will not let it happen.
Speaking to Express, Satyaraju, from Gorur, said the villagers staged a protest last year to prevent the company from constructing the unit. “We went to the High Court, which passed an order that was not in our favour. So we have approached the Supreme Court,” he said.
Meanwhile, based on the High Court order, Satheram went to Gorur to start work last week. But villagers stood in the way and did not let officials and constructions workers approach.
“They had come for a puja before laying the foundation. We sent them back. We heard they will come back on Monday to start construction. We were ready to oppose them,” he said.
Around 15 residential colonies are in and around the site of the proposed unit, he said, with some houses only 200 metres away.
“We have seen what happened to Mandur and Mavallipuira. If we let the construction begin, Gorur will go the same way,” said Nagaraju, Vice-Chairman, Lakkere Grama Panchayth, under which Gorur village falls. “We will not allow it at any cost.”
Srinivasa, who owns six acres near Gorur and grows paddy, said, “The proposed land is a catchment area from which water goes to the Thippagondanahalli reservoir. If this place is polluted, you can imagine what will happen to the water Bangaloreans drink,” he said. “What they send us will go back to them as water.”
He asked how the state government, which does not let farmers convert agricultural land for other purposes, has handed over to the French company more than 40 acres.
Siddanna, another farmer, said he and his fellow villagers are ready to go to prison if need be.
“I do not want my children or grandchildren to curse me for letting this land become poison,” he said. “I will starve to death, but won’t let the unit come up,” he said.
The BBMP, struggling with waste disposal in the city, is facing a huge set back because of this.
“We have clarified that we are going to dispose of the waste scientifically, but people have lost faith in us. Some local leaders are capitalising on it. We do not know where this will end,” a senior BBMP official told Express on condition of anonymity.