Garbage trucks stopped, fire in landfill destroys composting unit

After Mavallipura, the communities near the landfill in Mandur have now opposed dumping of city’s garbage at their doorstep. Nearly 200 lorry loads were prevented from being dumped at the landfill on Monday.

Hundreds of residents staged a protest, and a fire, which broke out at the landfill, is said to have gutted a composting unit there.

According to senior Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) officials, the fire was reported post-noon and could not be controlled even after five hours. “The thick smoke is hindering our operations there,” an official said.

Political hue

BBMP Ruling Party Leader N. Nagaraju claimed that the solid waste management issue had taken a political colour.

“There are efforts being made to bring disrepute to the [ruling] BJP. This is being done with an eye on the Assembly elections.”

He also suspected foul play in the fire that broke out at the landfill.

However, Mandur residents said that their intention was to protect their environment from further degradation.

One of them, Venkate Gowda, said that the landfill not only polluted the air and water but had also led to increased dog menace.

“The stench permeates the air and we cannot even have food in our own homes. With untreated garbage being dumped indiscriminately, the air and water-borne diseases have increased,” he said.

Alternative site

Their protest prompted S. Venkatesh Babu, chairperson of the BBMP Standing Committee for Public Health, to assure that garbage would not be sent to the landfill henceforth. Health Minister Aravind Limbavali, who visited the spot, said that garbage would be sent to other dumps already identified, such as the one in Chintamani, near Kolar. Meanwhile, Mayor D. Venkatesh Murthy has urged bulk garbage generators such as marriage halls, hotels, commercial complexes and multi-storey apartments to compulsorily segregate garbage at source. He said that of the 4,000 tonnes of garbage generated in the city, nearly 30 per cent can be recycled. “By segregating garbage and recycling dry waste, the pressure on landfills can be reduced to a large extent,” he said.

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