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Updated: June 14, 2014 00:26 IST

Mandur row: talks end in tears

Special Correspondent
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Residents of Mandur walking out of the meeting with the Chief Minister at his residential office in Bangalore on Friday. — Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.
Residents of Mandur walking out of the meeting with the Chief Minister at his residential office in Bangalore on Friday. — Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.

Residents unhappy as CM seeks six months’ time

The first round of talks to convince communities living around the landfills in Mandur to allow dumping of waste from the city for another six months have remained inconclusive.

Though Chief Minister Siddaramaiah tried to convince them to allow dumping, upset villagers, some of them in tears, walked out of the meeting.

It is said that while one group was ready to provide around three months’ time to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the other group wanted the dumping to stop immediately. Prema Murthy, one of the villagers who walked out the meeting, said the communities were disappointed that even the Chief Minister sought more time from them.

“Let them dump garbage on our graves. We have given the government and the BBMP enough time to make alternative arrangements to dump and process garbage from Bangalore,” she said.

Mandur Gram Panchayat member Chandrashekhar said they felt let down, even by their own MLA. “We were promised better facilities, Cauvery water connections and more funding. What is the use of all this when we are suffering every day, when our loved ones are dying? Why is that we are expected to help Bangalore prosper, while the situation in our village deteriorates more each day,” he said, and added that they would protest from Saturday.

Mr. Siddaramaiah, who had to leave the meeting to attend a Cabinet meeting, told reporters that he had requested the communities to allow dumping for another six months and assured them that it would stop after that. Asked if a written assurance would be given, he said the BBMP would look into it.

Arvind Limbavali, the local MLA, said that while he would support any decision that the residents took, but conceded that the BBMP would require around five to six months’ time to commission processing units.

City in-charge Minister R. Ramalinga Reddy conceded that the talks had remained inconclusive. He said the community leaders had gone back to Mandur with a promise to discuss the issue with the locals. He said Mr. Siddaramaiah had also assured the villagers of visiting Mandur, while the Chief Secretary had been directed to monitor the progress on a weekly basis.

Asked if the communities would agree to allow dumping for six months, he said that unlike before, there were some concrete proposals and construction of one of the processing units was already underway. Asked if garbage will be sent to Mandur with the talks remaining inconclusive, the Minister only responded by stating: “We hope that the communities will give us time.”

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