Upalokayukta initiates suo motu case against SWM facility

Despite the concerns raised regarding the aforementioned deficiencies, there appears to be a lack of action from the relevant authorities to address them, leading to adverse effects on public health.
Image used for representation
Image used for representation

BENGALURU: Taking cognisance of a report published on April 29 in TNIE, about the residents of Banashankari 6th Stage facing harsh effects due to the BBMP’s Solid Waste Management plant in the vicinity, Upalokayukta Justice KN Phaneendra took up a suo motu case on Monday.

“The BBMP, responsible for disposing of waste at the specified unit, is required to submit various reports to the local Environmental Pollution Control Board every month. These reports must detail the facilities at the site, specifications for landfilling, pollution prevention measures, water quality monitoring, and ambient air quality monitoring, as per Schedule-1 and Schedule-2 of the Solid Waste Disposal Rules, 2016. Additionally, information on the plantation at the landfill site and a solid waste report must be included,” the Upalokayukta order said.

Noting that the waste management unit operated without maintaining the required buffer zone, the Upalokayukta deemed it as maladministration and pointed at the requirement to operate the solid waste disposal plant, while adhering to CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board) guidelines, which mandate leaving a buffer zone.

“According to a recent news report, it has come to light that this waste management unit is disposing of waste without maintaining any buffer zone. Such oversight constitutes apparent maladministration under Section 2(10) of the Karnataka Lokayukta Act,” the order read.

Despite the concerns raised regarding the aforementioned deficiencies, there appears to be a lack of action from the relevant authorities to address them, leading to adverse effects on public health. Municipal Corporations or Municipalities are established to enhance the living environment for citizens, with the duty falling on the responsible officers to ensure this. Failure by staff/officers to fulfil their entrusted responsibilities shall be considered as maladministration, the order further said.

The Upalokayukta further directed to address deficiencies and investigate any inaction and maladministration by the relevant state authorities and directed the officials mentioned to be recognised as respondents – Raghavendra Prasada, Superintendent Engineer, Solid Waste Disposal, BBMP; Papareddy, Executive Engineer, Solid Waste Disposal, RR Nagar, BBMP; Varanarayan, Assistant Executive Engineer, Solid Waste Disposal, RR Nagar, BBMP; and Rekha R, Senior Environment Officer (MWC), Pollution Control Board. The members of the Pollution Control Board are required to submit a report with photographs, videos, and details identifying the officers responsible.

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