The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has adopted a “wait and watch” policy with regard to the ongoing protests by the communities living around Mandur landfill against dumping of the city’s garbage there. This, even as nearly 200 farmers are keeping vigil to ensure there is no dumping at the site.
Lorries queue up
According to Mare Gowda, president of the BBMP Lorry Drivers’ Association, of 500 vehicles, only 150 were able to offload the garbage at the landfill on Tuesday night. The remaining had queued up outside waiting for their turn. “The community, spotting the vehicles, started assaulting the drivers and cleaners. They damaged a few vehicles and sent back the remaining vehicles.”
Problems in offloading garbage for the past three days have led to pileup in the city, especially core areas. The association had apprised officials of the hostile conditions at the landfill that have been persisting for over a month but to no avail. “Even now there is no communication from them. Nearly 80 loaded vehicles are waiting for the green signal to go to the landfill. If BBMP identifies a site and informs us, we will gladly go and dump there,” Mr. Gowda said.
‘Enough is enough’
Mandur farmer Sridhar M.A. told The Hindu nearly 200 villagers will take turns to keep night vigils at the landfill. “We obliged when the Chief Minister requested us to allow dumping for a month. Later, the BBMP sought 15 days’ time and we obliged again at the risk of our health. How long should we allow this dumping?”
Dumping was allowed only between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. “Yet the lorries would come throughout the day. The only way out for us was to lock the site.” He pointed out the landfill had not been permitted either by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board or the Mandur gram panchayat.
Meanwhile, BBMP Commissioner Rajneesh Goel maintained that he hoped the issue would be sorted out. “The community members had certain requests and we have obliged. The number of vehicles going to the landfill has been reduced and the environmental factors are being controlled.”
The segregated waste from the outer zones would be sent to farmers for composting, while waste from only the core zones would go to Mandur. About the lack of other landfill sites, as per the Solid Waste Management Rules 2000, only decentralised composting sites could be established. Zonal commissioners had already been instructed to identify sites and take action on a war footing, he added.