BENGALURU: Justice Subhash B Adi, Chairman of National Green Tribunal Committee on Solid Waste Management, said other cities in Karnataka are better than Bengaluru when it comes to solid waste management.
He said that despite being a cosmopolitan city with all the facilities and technology, the BBMP had failed in managing Bengaluru’s waste. He said the problem has been piling up since 2011-12 when the issue with Mandur landfill started. Since then BBMP has been unable to handle the situation and find solutions.
He said Bengaluru is lacking behind because of improper management like in case of setting up and managing waste processing units. They have not been set up as per standards and are not running to their full capacity. Processing centres have become a problem because of locals protesting about the stench and garbage strewn around, he said.
“I have been suggesting a solution for very long - decentralisation of waste at the ward level. People are ready to segregate and they are doing that. But where to take the garbage is the question. So decentralised of waste management at the ward level is an ideal solution,” he said.
In the wake of the apprehensions posed by some people and BBMP officials, he said he was willing to show the way. He said some locations such as like Sanjayanagar and HSR Layout had already been identified to show how garbage can be collected and managed at the ward level itself. This will ensure that waste does not go to landfills and the best out of the waste is obtained. He said it has also been suggested that waste be sent to cement factories for processing.
He asserted that sending waste to landfills is not permitted. BBMP is continuing to send it because they have no choice. Unless they come out with a mechanism and a fully functional operation system, the problem of sending waste to landfills will continue. He pointed out that as the NGT chairman, he can send a report to the NGT about the BBMP sending waste to landfills and not managing the waste. But then a concrete solution will also be given for the BBMP to follow instead.
He said processing should be scientific. Today, and even according to BBMP, out of the seven waste processing units, only two or three are working and that too not to its fullest capacity. BBMP has told the committee that they need time to manage the garbage because budgets are yet to be called for. So the committee is giving the corporation some time. But time is ticking.
He said Kalaburagi is better than Bengaluru in waste segregation and collection. Another example which Bengaluru should look at is Vellore, which is now garbage free. There is systematic management, collection and composting.
He added that choices are many, but he does not know when BBMP will choose what. Sometimes they say waste processing centres are ideal and sometimes they come up with some other solutions. Justice Adi said the best solution is to decentralise the waste.
He urged the citizens to help make the city garbage free. He said so far Bengaluru has become 80% plastic-free. This is because of strong penalties imposed. The same should also be done to manage garbage.