Community leaders have assured support: BBMP Commissioner

The garbage issue is threatening to spiral out of control. On Monday, the communities living around the landfills in Mandur continued their protest against the dumping of waste in their backyard. This, even as the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is all set to send garbage trucks to the Mandur landfills on Monday night.

Early on Monday, the communities living in and around Mandur observed a bandh. Shopkeepers downed shutters voluntarily, as the agitators forcibly locked the Mandur Gram Panchayat office.

Gopal Rao, a social activist and resident of Mandur, said the communities were not ready to trust the BBMP’s assurance this time. “We believed them twice previously only to be cheated. We are suffering every day. We will not longer put up with it,” he said, and added that they were ready to keep vigil round-the-clock to prevent the entry of any garbage truck.

Another villager, Murthy, sought to know if the government and the BBMP valued garbage more than the lives of the villagers. “Empty assurances over the years have only compounded our problems. Villagers are affected by several diseases because of the air and water pollution caused by the mounting garbage in our backyard. Our fields have been affected and crops have withered. Why should we give the BBMP more time to get its act together?” he said.

The villagers continue to sit at the Narayan Math Junction, which is less than 2 km away from the landfills. Manjula, a Mandur resident, said that the city in-charge Minister R. Ramalinga Reddy and Mayor B.S. Sathyanarayana, who sought more time from the communities, should stay at the village for at least 24 hours to fully understand their problems.

Meanwhile, after the communities locked the gates of the landfills at Mandur on Sunday, the BBMP was forced to send excess waste to the landfills in Doddaballapur, Lakshmipura and S. Bingipura. Though the BBMP had stated that garbage would be cleared, garbage was not picked up from some parts of the city.

BBMP Commissioner Lakshminarayan told The Hindu that talks had been held with the community leaders who had assured the civic body of support. He said that around 150 trucks would be sent to the Mandur landfills on Monday night. “The community leaders have said that they will convince the villagers of the need to call off their protest,” he added.

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