The garbage crisis shows no sign of abating in Bangalore. Problems with the dumping at landfills continue to erupt time and again, while the new garbage contractors, who were supposed to take over this month, are still unwilling to do so.
This has left the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) in a quandary. A large chunk of the packages have been bagged by BVG India Ltd. The contractor has taken up work in packages in only Yelahanka and Rajarajeshwarinagar zones.
The old contractors allege that the BBMP seems to be going easy on the contractor given “his connections with the BJP’s top leadership”. On Tuesday, they met Mayor D. Venkatesh Murthy, BBMP Commissioner Rajneesh Goel and senior councillors, including former Mayor S.K. Nataraj. BBMP sources claimed the old contractors were urged to cooperate until the new contractors are ready. “If and when the new contractors fail to take up the work, the BBMP, after consulting the government, will decide on the next course of action.”
A senior councillor conceded that BVG India Ltd. would require at least two months to have the required men and machinery in place for the 51 packages awarded to it. Sources said there was this impression that the BBMP was hoping the new contractors would baulk at it. “Then BBMP can claim that it has no option but to re-tender the packages. This is one way to accommodate the old contractors,” an official said.
S.N. Balasubramaniyam, garbage contractor and general secretary of Bangalore Mahanagara Swachathe Matthu Lorry Malikara Haagoo Guttigedarara Sangha, accused the BBMP of looking the other way when the new contractors had already violated the tender conditions. “According to the conditions, the successful bidder has to have in place the required men and machinery within 15 days after getting the letter of acceptance, else the bid stands cancelled and earnest money deposit forfeited. Since the new contractors have failed to meet this condition, the BBMP stands to gain the Rs.7 crore deposited as EMD by them (contractors).”
Security for lorries
Meanwhile, on Monday night and Tuesday, garbage lorries were given security so as to facilitate dumping at Mandur on the city’s outskirts. Prohibitory orders have been imposed in Avalahalli, Bommanahalli, Mandur, Kattugollahalli, Byappanahalli and Gundur and surrounding areas.
A senior councillor said the BBMP had sorted out issues with the communities living around the landfill. The communities were up in arms and had demanded a written assurance that dumping would be stopped completely from January 31.