The Karnataka High Court on Friday directed the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) not to extend the services of old garbage contractors without prior permission of the court. The contractors are being continued temporarily, despite expiry of the contract period, as the tender process is still under way.

Observing that as long as their service is extended they continue to pose hurdles as they have vested interests, the Court also directed the BBMP Commissioner to fix a tenure for their service while continuing them. Old contracts in areas covered under 41 garbage tender packages are being continued.

A Division Bench comprising Justice N. Kumar and Justice B.V. Nagarathna issued the direction while hearing public interest litigation petitions complaining about garbage problems in the city. “Tighten the contractors, it is time to encourage others and look out for new contractors…” the Bench observed.

In its April verdict, the Bench had declared that a “cartel” created of an “unholy nexus between contractors, councillors, elected representatives and officials” had turned Bangalore into a “garbage city.”

‘Don’t pay Ramky’

The Bench also directed the BBMP not to make any payment to Ramky Infrastructure Company Ltd. for processing waste, as it was alleged that the firm was not doing anything. The Bench also noted that the firm has been made a party in one of the petitions, but has not yet responded to the notice issued by the Court.

Meanwhile, Advocate-General Ravivarma Kumar told the Bench that the Governor had given assent for the law to enhance penalty for littering in public places and for not segregating garbage, and it has been notified. Besides, he said the government has instructed the BBMP to publicise the new penal provision through various media while informing the Bench that draft rules for the functioning of ward committee were also notified by the government.

The Bench said it would give further direction based on reports of the expert committee while directing the Commissioner to get the committee’s response on objections received for their recommendations. The Bench will hear the petitions again on September 20.

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