The Silicon City of India has virtually turned into a garbage dumping ground. Almost every corner in Bangalore is dotted with heaps of uncleared garbage. Bangaloreans are living with the tepid stench for more than 15 days now as Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has failed to dump the problem and dispose the garbage.
The ruling BJP government seems to be busy in dealing with former BS Yeddyurappa’s threat to quit the party and float a new regional party on December 10. Its leaders have no time to ensure the garbage disposal problem is solved.
The problem of garbage disposal aggravated after the closure of landfill at Mavallipura on the outskirts of city which is one of the oldest landfills. In August, villagers refused to accept filth from Bangalore. The villagers complained of serious health problems which made Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) to order for the closure of this particular landfill. BBMP was dumping around 30 to 40 per cent of garbage accumulated in the city.
Subsequently, people of Mandur, where another landfill is located, were up in arms against dumping of garbage in their area. They not only took law in their hands (they assaulted drivers of garbage trucks) but also categorically refused to allow truck to download garbage in their landfill.
When BBMP’s limit for garbage disposal were extended —with seven more CMCs, one TMC and 110 villages and BBMP formed in 2007, the authorities failed to identify new landfill sites to cater to the newly added areas. Of the total eight landfills, five exceeded the limit and were shut. They had to manage with the existing landfills. In July this year, residents of Mavallipura and surrounding villages started protesting against unscientific dumping of waste in their landfill. Villagers alleged that at least eight people died due to unscientific dumping of waste, that has polluted ground level water in that area. Karnataka State Pollution Control Board had directed BBMP and Ramky Infrastructure to stop dumping waste in at Mavallipura. Taking a cue from Mavallipura residents, villagers staying near land sites including Terra Firma near Doddaballapura and Mandur village protested against garbage dumping in their area. BBMP brought segregation at source mandatory from October 1, 2012, and so far they have been able to deal with 35 to 40 per cent of the garbage. According to BBMP Commissioner Rajneesh Goel, there is a huge demand for pure wet waste and they are sending it to the farmers in and around Bangalore. He says, “Dry waste like plastic, paper, rubber, glass will be sent to the centres, thus reducing the burden on landfill. BBMP has deployed more ragpickers who will collect dry waste, like plastic from the mixed waste.”
Of the total 4000 tones of garbage that comes from the city, 1500 tonnes alone is produced by bulk generators including hoteliers, community halls and apartments. BBMP has given two months time to apartments to sort out dumping issues. However, hoteliers are yet to follow BBMP directives. Palike has not taken any action against defaulters. CM Jagadish Shettar has intervened again. He has entrusted Banglore BJP MLAs the task of convincing villagers to allow dumping waste from Banglaore in the landfills.