BBMP’s solid waste management plant torments Banashankari residents

It all started with a BDA advertisement in 2001, when it allotted 10,000 new sites in a layout.
The leachate at the BBMP’s Solid Waste Management plant
The leachate at the BBMP’s Solid Waste Management plant |Express

BENGALURU: A BDA layout that was supposed to have a park larger than Lalbagh, supplying fresh air to the residents, is now suffocating them with a foul smell emanating from the BBMP’s solid waste management (SWM) plant. The rancid stench has compelled many residents to use oxygen generators in their homes. However, BBMP officials claim that all is well with its SWM plant.

It all started with a BDA advertisement in 2001, when it allotted 10,000 new sites in a layout. The ads claimed that Banashankari 6th Stage would feature a park larger than Lalbagh, but two decades later, the reality is different.

The locality that now houses several residences is close to a mega solid waste management plant, set up by the BBMP in 2015. The facility, spread over 9.5 acres, processes up to 200 tonnes of waste. However, the foul odour originating from the plant has caused serious health concerns among residents. Particularly senior citizens have reported experiencing breathing problems due to the toxic smell. Apart from residents, the odour extending up to 5 km has adversely impacted five schools, a college, and neighbouring villages.

“The plant lacks a 500-metre buffer zone, a leachate treatment facility, and proper odour control measures,” said TS Mahesh, president of the Banashankari 6th Stage Residents Welfare Association. The overpowering smell enters the house multiple times every day, even when windows and doors are shut, he added.

Krishnamurthy, another resident, said, “Despite filing complaints regularly, authorities only provide a token number for the complaint, with no action taken thereafter.” Every 10 minutes, at least two garbage trucks arrive at the unit, with waste collected.

The residents told TNIE that approximately 25 families have left the locality, because the authorities are allegedly indifferent to their plight. Despite numerous complaints, no action has been taken.

Ravi NK, a businessman, said the leachate from the waste accumulated at the plant seeps into the nearby Sompura Lake. During rainfall, it becomes connected to the Kaveri line. Once surrounded by flora and fauna, the area is devastated by the waste unit.

Jayanthi, a professional, a resident for two years, said that during the monsoon, the area turns into a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

When TNIE reached out to Vinoth Priya, Zonal Commissioner - South, she refused to respond to the question.

A BBMP official claimed that no such smell emanates out of the unit. “We are not treating chemicals at the plants, it is only waste being converted into compost, hence no strong odours are emitted. The residents’ claims are exaggerated, as we and the state pollution control board conduct daily checks,” he added.

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