Garbage vehicles rumble in and tip their contents. Unsegregated waste lies in mounds. It’s a feeding frenzy for stray dogs.
This is a scene not at one of the dumping yards on the city’s outskirts, but in Subramanyanagar, a residential area in Malleswaram Assembly constituency.
The small, almost triangular plot of land that abuts the busy Dr. Rajkumar Road and Malleswaram 17th Cross Tank Bund Road, is a collection point for garbage lorries to pick up waste from. Residents have been living with the stench, the stray dogs, the flies and mosquitoes, and the risk of disease.
An added concern for them now is that the land has been earmarked for an organic waste convertor. Residents, who claim they were not kept in the loop about the project by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), are up in arms, afraid that their garbage problem is going to get worse.
Said Navin Mysore, a businessman, “Residents have already conveyed their opposition to the proposal to councillor Shashikala Kiran, C.N. Ashwath Narayan, MLA, and even the BBMP authorities, but to no avail. We have submitted many representations.” The latest of these was submitted on June 27 to the BBMP Commissioner.
He pointed out that the plot was across St. Theresa’s Hospital and next to an educational institution run by the Janatha Education Society. The society too has said the proposed project would not be in the interest of its 5,000 students — right from kindergarten to the postgraduate level. In a memorandum, society secretary C.N. Manche Gowda said the garbage collection point was “adversely affecting the health of students and the ecology as the toxic substances are dumped in an open space”.
Earmarked for a park
D.C. Pai, resident and secretary of Karnataka Weightlifters’ Association, pointed out that the plot was actually a civic amenity site, earmarked for a park by the Bangalore Development Authority.
“While we realise the need for processing centres for effective solid waste management in the city, we wonder why the BBMP did not take us into confidence. That apart, what is the guarantee that the proposed plant will be maintained well,” he asks.
On its part, the BBMP is gung-ho about the proposal. A senior official from the West Zone explained that organic waste convertors were being set up in four locations in the constituency, at a cost of Rs. 3.75 crore. “This is being done on a pilot basis in Malleswaram Assembly constituency. Once all four units are up, the garbage generated in the constituency will be processed and needn’t be sent to the landfills.”
About the opposition from the residents, he said any project would be taken up only with their full consent. “We will progress only after we gain the residents’ confidence.”