Confusion over the setting up of dry waste collection centre at M.C. Layout has resulted in garbage heaps all over the place

It is a picture of irony at M.C. Layout: a few metres away from the yet-to-be-completed dry waste collection centre (DWCC), garbage can be seen strewn all over the road. Thanks to this mess, even the entrance to one of the parks developed below a high tension line here has been cut off.

The construction of the DWCC was stopped following opposition from the local residents in May this year. They had contended that once functional, the DWCC would affect the health of those visiting the park, mostly senior citizens, besides raising a stink in the area.

However, with no DWCC in the area, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike’s (BBMP) pourakarmikas dump the garbage onto one of the lanes between the park stretch, causing untold inconvenience to the residents.

‘Black spots’

M. Kumar (name changed), who frequents the area, pointed out that the residents, who had opposed the DWCC, were only more inconvenienced now. “Had the DWCC been set up, the garbage sorting activities would have been restricted within the structure itself in one corner of the park. Now it is dumped everywhere and there are several black spots in the area,” he said.

Shiva Ram, a local resident, said that the project has been in limbo ever since the local residents’ welfare association opposed it. The association was one of the first to get funds from the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission for a proposed organic waste convertor plant. “A detailed project report was prepared and submitted to JNNURM. The project was approved and funds were also released. However, the project fizzled out,” he said.

RTI activist B.H. Veeresh maintained that there was no coordination between the local MLA Priya Krishna and councillor Shakuntala M. Another resident and RTI activist, T. Ramu, blamed the BBMP for not seeking public opinion before taking up work on the DWCC.

“The BBMP took up the work in haste because it wanted to submit before the High Court that numerous DWCCs had been established across the city. The work was stopped by the residents. It is still at the foundation level only,” he said.

He pointed out that the DWCC, if constructed, would have been adjacent to a school for mentally challenged children and BBMP’s tailoring centre.

“The DWCC would have been maintained properly for a few days. But eventually, the BBMP authorities’ lackadaisical attitude would have made the centre defunct, converting the park into a dump yard,” he said.

Alternative site

Nearly 400 people visit the park for a bit of fresh air. Mr. Ramu pointed out that there is an empty site near the park, where the DWCC could be set up. “While we are not against the DWCC concept, we only want it to be shifted to another site. We have written several times to the councillor, local MLA, and BBMP authorities in this regard, to no avail.”

Appeal to citizens

BBMP Commissioner M. Lakshminarayan said that the civic body was counting on active participation from the citizens in solid waste management.

“We are only trying to process the waste that the residents themselves are generating by setting up the DWCC. However, nobody wants to take responsibility. Unless the citizens join hands with the BBMP, we cannot have effective solid waste management in the city,” he added.

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