Setting fire to waste bothers residents

What can be worse than uncleared garbage? When it is set on fire to make space for more garbage. This is what is happening at the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) playground opposite St. Charles School, Hennur Main Road, Lingarajpuram, for some time now.

With the BBMP still grappling with the garbage crisis that has seized the entire city, the playground has been reduced to a dump yard. Residents from the neighbourhood freely dump garbage in the playground or in the lane outside it.

With no sign of the BBMP clearing it regularly, some residents started setting the garbage on fire. However, this has been releasing noxious fumes as the unsegregated garbage contains, among other things, all kinds of plastic.

This practice has alarmed others who fear it will make them susceptible to health problems, including cancer.

Zafar Sait, a concerned resident, has complained about this to the BBMP and also posted a photo of the garbage being burnt on the BBMP’s social media platform. “The garbage is being burnt for a while now. It is harmful to all residents, especially young children. If the garbage is regularly cleared, this problem will not arise,” he said.

But there are other residents who argue this is the only recourse as long as BBMP doesn’t lift the garbage. “The garbage is set on fire only when the BBMP does not collect it. Every few days, the garbage and ashes are cleared from the playground. The problem only intensifies when it rains and the garbage stagnates in the rainwater,” said a resident who didn’t want to be named.

St. Charles School principal Sr. Teresa said the problem is less acute now. “It used to be worse earlier. After a compound wall was constructed, instances of burning have come down.”

When contacted, Sagayapuram councillor V. Palaniyammal’s spokesperson said the authorities concerned had been apprised of the situation.

‘However, a senior BBMP official claimed that the civic authority had not received any complaint in this regard. When it was pointed out that a complaint had been posted online on BBMP’s social media forum, he said: “I do not know anything about any online complaints; I will have to check.”