BENGALURU: The stench on Outer Ring Road in Kumaraswamy Layout can be nauseating if one stands for longer than five minutes. Right next to the Geological Survey of India, are two heaps of garbage spilling on to the footpath of the 100-feet road.
The resident welfare association (RWA) has highlighted these spots and others within the south zone several times, including a written complaint to Chief Secretary of Karnataka Government, Vijay Bhaskar, which was forwarded via email to Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner Manjunath Prasad, and finally to Joint Commissioner (JC) south zone, T H Vishwanath.
The spot falls in between wards Kumara Swamy Layout (181), Banashankari Temple Ward (180) and Padmanabha Nagar (182), says Abhinand Mahadevappa, general secretary of Citizens Task Force group and a resident of the area. “These two spots on ORR have been around for the past eight months. There are several reasons for this, we have observed.
First, the pushcarts come for door-to-door collection of waste, instead of the regular auto tippers. These carts are not enough to hold so much waste, so it is dumped on to the main road. When garbage collection does not happen for more than two days, residents follow in their footsteps and dump their waste on the road too,” said Abhinand.
The other reason he and other residents point out is insufficient of auto tippers. “For ward 180, they are supposed to have around 45 autos assigned, but we have observed only 10 to 15 tippers plying. It is the same situation with neighbouring wards. The spot on the ring road becomes an illegal transfer point created by BBMP themselves. The compactors also don't come regularly to collect the waste disposed by autos,” he added.
Senior citizen Narayan Reddy, who has been actively fighting to get black spot issues resolved, told us that even the compactors seem to be insufficient. “For ward 181, I see only two out of four compactors in use. The supervisors or contractors are burning the trash at night, and the next day, the waste is back again. We have complained several times to superintendent engineer (SE) of Bengaluru south zone, Narasarama Rao, but he has not come on field even once.
I call him five times a week, but he does not receive my calls,” said Narayan, adding, “I have written tonnes of complaint letters. Even joint commissioner Vishwanath has never spoken to us. Such officers must be suspended or the issue will not be resolved.”An excerpt of their complaint letter to the chief secretary, dated October 6, expresses their frustration with the inefficiency of authorities.
“Health officers do not come for inspection, even if we request. The SE is unresponsive and always unavailable, JC south is constantly unreachable and does not take action and is totally irresponsible,” it reads. The letter elaborates the irregular garbage disposal and health hazards created by it. “When it rain, the waste spills, mixes with water and spills on to the roads, making the whole ring road slippery. It causes problems to commuters,” the letter added.
Garbage dumping at disputed property
When contacted, Narasarama said, “There is a two-acre empty site adjoining the footpath on this spot, which is under legal dispute. There has been a HC stay on it for over 20 years. We do not know who dumps garbage here. It is no man’s land currently, and the BBMP cannot interfere. The dump spills over on to the footpath and road. I used to ensure garbage is removed regularly. We have observed people dumping between 2am and 4am. People from the neighbouring Bommanahalli zone also dump here.
A wall along the property would help.” He added that an inspection happened recently with Sarfaraz Khan, Joint Commissioner, Health/Solid Waste Management. Narasarama said the BBMP’s legal cell is being consulted to intervene in the issue, so the footpath and roads will not be affected. When asked about insufficient tipper autos and compactors, he said, “In some places where the lanes are too small, we ask the pushcarts to collect waste from homes.
We have no shortage of auto tippers or compactors. At times, due to issues like heavy rain, the compactor does not collect waste from the road, so it piles up. We do have a dumping problem.” He added that complaint letters by RWA members have been responded to with a compliance report, and assured that BBMP is working to resolve the issue. JC south zone Vishwanath was unreachable. .