“We are tired of garbage being dumped in front of our houses. This is killing us slowly and affecting our livelihood as well. The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) must heed the closure notice issued by Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) and close the landfill operated by Ramky Enviro Engineers Ltd. in Mavallipura,” said M. Ramesh, resident and Gantiganahalli panchayat member.
The aggrieved villagers have staged several protests and prevented garbage being dumped in the landfill to no avail. Mayor D. Venkatesh Murthy has now agreed to visit Mavallipura again on Thursday.
The residents have been demanding that the landfill be shut down and waste to energy project proposed at the site be cancelled.
B. Srinivas, Shivakote panchayat member, said that the waste accumulated in the landfill be processed to recover their organic manure content, and the non-recyclable and toxic refuse taken to other appropriate landfills. “Since the garbage is dumped and no measures are taken to prevent leachate from contaminating ground water, all water sources have been rendered non-potable. The area is the catchment area for the Arkavathy river and the same unsafe water is supplied to Bangalore,” he said.
Several families have lost their dear ones and their livestock. The residents of the 15 affected villages now demand free medical health camps be held regularly. They also want the BBMP to compensate the villagers who have lost livestock, besides ensuring regular visits by veterinarians.
The other demands include withdrawal of all false cases against key leaders and activists of the villages, initiating criminal action against all those involved in contaminating water, soil, air and public health and supply of safe drinking water through a dedicated pipeline to the affected villages.
They also demanded that the operator (Ramky) take up decontamination of water and soil.