SS Palya wants ‘stinking’ compost unit shut down
With no solution to the stink emanating from a compost unit for past five months, SS Palya residents now demand political parties to include shutting the Karnataka Compost Development Corporation Ltd (KCDC) unit down in their upcoming election manifesto of Bommanahalli
BENGALURU: With no solution to the stink emanating from a compost unit for past five months, SS Palya residents now demand political parties to include shutting the Karnataka Compost Development Corporation Ltd (KCDC) unit down in their upcoming election manifesto of Bommanahalli constituency.
The plant built approximately in 11.16 hectares of land composts wet waste. In a recent poll conducted by SS Palya resident Welfare Association on Twitter, 82 per cent of the respondents said that they would like to see the unit shut down.
A Joint Action Team (JAT) comprising officials of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), KCDC and Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) and residents was formed five months ago to find a solution but the residents say that they became part of the team with a hope to have stink -free life, but in vain.
According to HSR Citizen Forum's president Shanthi Tummala, who is also part of JAT, they are not demanding to shut down but to take action to prevent the stink that is causing trouble to residents. "If the authorities cannot manage, it would be better to shut down the unit," she adds.
Members of the Kudlu, Haralukunte, Hosapalya, Somsundarapalya and Parangipalya (KHHSP) Resident Welfare Associations had submitted a petition to the Karnataka Legislative Assembly demanding action. However, the civic authorities say they prefer taking action to prevent the foul smell to shutting it down completely.
A Kenche Gowda, chairman of KCDC, says there is a gross violation by the apartments in the area. "According to the norms, there should be no building within 500 metre radius of the unit. When the plant was built in 1975, it was almost an isolated place. But over the years, apartments have come up," he says. He adds, "We are taking measures by installing filters in the processing unit to reduce the foul smell,” he adds.
Shanthi asks who gave them permission to construct apartments and houses in the buffer zone. “It is BBMP right? Few year ago, the agents sold the sites and flats saying that the plant would be closed and a park like Lal bagh would come up. Believing it, people purchased the land,” she adds. Sources say since 2008, word was being spread that the unit is not working and the realtors made false claims and stories to sell the land. Suprisingly, apartments were built next to the compost unit. There is also a school adjacent to the unit.
BBMP joint commissioner (Bommanahalli division) Veerabadra Swamy says, "We have taken necessary measures to prevent suffocation. We have already installed newly bio-filter system that has reduced the stench. Also, compost unit has stopped letting leachate to Somasundarapalya lake. Now we are erecting 60-feet mesh with nets across the unit in order to prevent the mosquitoes and flies.” He adds that due to protests from the residents, the amount of waste for composting has been reduced from the unit's actual capacity of 500 tonne to 130 tonne every day.
When asked who gave the permission to construct apartments in the buffer zone, Swamy says he does not have any idea about who gave the permission to build houses in the buffer zone. "We will also investigate it," he says.