Warn of dumping garbage in front of Shettar, Ashok’s homes

The communities living around the Mandur landfills near here, fed up of garbage at their doorstep, are poised to return the favour to Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar and Deputy Chief Minister R. Ashok.

Residents of Mandur and Birahalli gram panchayats, who are most affected by Bangalore’s waste, have decided to dump lorry loads of it in front of the residences of both Mr. Shettar and Mr. Ashok.

Mandur gram panchayat member Rakesh Gowda told presspersons here on Tuesday that according to an agreement that arrived at during a meeting with Mr. Shettar, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) authorities, including Mayor D. Venkatesh Murthy and Commissioner Rajneesh Goel, it was agreed that the number of trucks going to the landfill would be cut down progressively each month.

“They had assured us that from 225 trucks in October-November, it would be 150 in December and 75 trucks in January. From February, no trucks would be sent and the accumulated garbage (in the landfills) would be processed and cleared. Despite these assurances, the BBMP continues to send over 500 trucks of garbage. We are tired of these empty promises,” he said.

Narendra Babu, local leader from Mandur, said the BBMP was sending a mere five tankers of potable water to the affected villages of Mandur, Gundur, Biappanahalli, Kammasandra, Marasandra, Katagollahalli, Bommenahalli, Bidarahalli and Hancharahalli. “How is this enough for all community members? We increased the number to 10 with panchayat funding.”

The communities are also thinking about legally contesting the government’s decision to increase the buffer zone/ no development zone to one km radius around the landfill. “This decision was taken without the consensus of the communities. The government first stated that the landfill would be converted to a park. Why then did it have to increase the buffer zone?” asked Sadashivachar, Mandur gram panchayat member.

He said that with this increase, the communities would not be able to even construct homes. “We need to get land conversion for that as without it we won’t get loans. Though none of us want to sell our land for development, we are opposed to this sudden increase in buffer zone.”

As far as the next course of action goes, Mr. Gowda and Mr. Sadashivachar said it would be decided after a meeting with Chief Minister in a couple of days.