"I was posted to BBMP at a critical time... there were internal scams and there was a fire in the head office" said M.K. Shankaralinge Gowda

While the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is in the midst of a crisis over solid waste management, it was a quiet exit for M.K. Shankaralinge Gowda, its 56th Commissioner. As he handed over charge to Rajneesh Goel on Tuesday, he responded calmly to the volley of questions posed by reporters.

How would you describe your stint as BBMP Commissioner?

My nine-month tenure was good and challenging. I was posted to BBMP at a critical time… there were internal scams and there was a fire in the head office. And just before I was transferred to another department, there was a fire at the Mandur landfill.

What were the challenges that you faced?

The five major areas for the BBMP are roads, streetlights, garbage, water supply (in outer areas not fed by the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board) and public health. The city has grown and the problems keep surmounting. To tackle them, I believe the BBMP should be bifurcated. The Delhi corporation was divided into three. I had already spoken to Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar about the need to do so. This can be done after 2015 after a long-term plan is drafted.

Do you believe that the solid waste management issues plaguing the city can be resolved?

Garbage was not an issue that needed serious action. However, now is the right time to find long-term solutions. The landfill issues can be resolved with new contracts and conditions.

There must be focus on segregation of waste at source. The dry and organic waste must be treated separately. This way, the quantum of waste going to landfills will come down substantially.

Is the garbage crisis the reason for your sudden transfer?

No. The transfer is part of a routine exercise. Besides me, 18 other IAS officials have been transferred.

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