Bangaloreans breathed easy on Saturday as after six days, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) workers swung into action, clearing rotting mounds of garbage strewn on roads and street corners across the city.

In damage control mode after widespread condemnation for the mess and the beating the city’s image has taken, the BBMP deployed 700 pickup trucks, making two trips each, ferrying 10 to 20 tonnes of garbage to the four landfills on the outskirts. On an inspection to monitor the exercise, BBMP Commissioner M.K. Shankarlinge Gowda said he expected the city to be fully cleaned up by Sunday noon. Additional staff had been hired for this, he told presspersons during the inspection rounds.

“A large workforce has been deployed so there is no fear of epidemic,” he said.

Angry residents

When huge piles of garbage were found at M.N. Krishna Rao Road, S.P. Road and Shivajinagar, the Commissioner immediately asked the authorities to clear them. At Shivajinagar, angry residents who came to air their grievances were disappointed as he refused to listen to their problems. “You can’t just come here and click photographs and go away. You must hear our problems,” shouted an irate resident.

When presspersons pointed to a huge pile of garbage near K.R. Market, Mr. Gowda said: “Bangalore is a dynamic city and cannot be zero waste.” The peripheries do not produce a large quantity of waste, he said, and pointed out that the west, south and east are areas that generate more waste.

BBMP initiatives

Waking up to the crisis in the city, the Commissioner claimed the BBMP would implement certain waste management initiatives.Itplans to install 16 organic converters across the city to turn wet waste into biogas.

A new solid waste management unit would be set up in Chintamani in Chickballapur district. A 20-acre dumping yard has been identified in Anekal. BBMP will call for tenders to buy 12-wheelers to carry 100 tonnes of garbage to landfills. “We will also widen the roads to the landfills so that the large vehicles can reach the destination.”

Mr. Gowda said he would urge the councillors to implement waste segregation at the ward level.

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