BENGALURU: A day after he assumed office, Mayor Manjunath Reddy, on Saturday, called on leaders to seek their blessings.
Meanwhile, the garbage problem, which the Mayor said was one of his priorities, worsened on Saturday. Piles of uncleared garbage increased due to S Bingipura villagers’ refusal to allow Bengaluru’s waste to be dumped there.
The First Citizen began the day with his visit to his political mentor and Bengaluru in-charge Minister Ramalinga Reddy at his Lakkasandra residence. Next, he called on JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda at his residence in Padmanabhanagar and took his blessings. After this, he took a break and went to his residence.
In the evening, Reddy spoke to BBMP officials over phone and got a status report on the garbage issue. He is said to have directed officials to attend to the problem on priority.
When contacted, one of his close associates told Express, “Since Friday night, the Mayor has been visiting senior leaders from his party, including Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and KPCC president G Parameshwara. On Saturday too, he visited leaders from his party and called on some JD(S) netas. Interviews to the media
followed. As he was tired, Reddy went home to take rest. In the evening, he spoke to BBMP officials and got the status report.”
Bingipura residents are up in arms against the muck being dumped in the landfill near the village and official apathy. Over 100 garbage trucks were stopped on Wednesday. As a result, heaps of garbage could be seen on West of Chord Road, Govindarajnagar, Chamarajpet, JP Nagar, Jayanagar, Padarayanapura on Mysuru Road and many areas in South Bengaluru.
“We are collecting waste from houses and dumping it at the primary point. But since no trucks are coming to collect garbage from this point, garbage is lying on the roads,” a pourakarmika at Vijayanagar said.
Hemachandra, BBMP Joint Commissioner, South Zone, said the landfill at S Bingipura near Anekal gets waste from wards located in the South Zone and partially from the Bommanahalli Zone. “Earlier, we used to send 110 trucks, but have now cut them down to 55. Once the new processing units start functioning to their full capacity, the burden on Bingipura landfill will reduce,” he said.
“At present, from South, around 250 tonnes of garbage are sent to the processing unit at Kannahalli, 100 tonnes to the unit at Sigehalli, 90 tonnes to Karnataka Compost Development Corporation (KCDC) and 50 tonnes to the Subbarayanapalya unit. There are three biomethanisation plants in South Zone. In the next few days, the capacity of these units will increase,” he explained.
A senior BBMP officer said that they have distributed 1,000 mosquito nets that the villagers’ had demanded. BBMP has also taken up many development works like improving roads and providing drinking water, he said. “Now the issue has cropped up again. It could be politically motivated,” he claimed.
N Chamraja, president, taluk panchayat (Bengaluru South), said that an abandoned quarry near Bingipura was being used as a landfill since 2011.
He said the Bingipura Lake next to the quarry pit has turned black and the cattle which depend on this lake are dying. “Neither officials nor the elected representative has visited the place,” he charged. He said, “Farmers used to grow paddy, ragi and vegetables, but the polluted water is ruining the crops.”
D Saradar Basha, a resident of Bettadasapura, some 300 metres from Bingipura landfill, said that after the recent rains, contaminated water from the quarry had seeped into the lake, turning it black. “The fish and frogs in the lake have died. Villagers are getting skin diseases,” he said. “Suddenly, the village is getting spruced up. We are told that a top man is scheduled to visit it,” he said. All these days, no one bothered to come here, he added.
Mayor to Visit Today
Mayor Manjunath Reddy said, “I went to meet Ramalinga Reddy and Deve Gowda on Saturday; in the evening I met people from my ward thanking them. I will visit Bingipura on Sunday morning.”
He said the BBMP officials had already visited the village and that the villagers were demanding that he visit the place.
Praising Gowda, he said, “Deve Gowda asked me to focus on the newly added areas which were not developed during the BJP’s term.” But Ramalinga Reddy wants the Mayor to concentrate on road widening.