They fear health hazards as it is coming up near residential blocks

Residents of Jayanagar staged a protest in Bangalore on Sunday to oppose the construction of an organic waste convertor unit on the Jayanagar swimming pool premises.

G. Rajkumar Shrivastava, president of the Residents Association I and III blocks (east), said that the residents feared health hazards in the event of the organic waste convertor coming up there. He added, “We have consulted doctors who have told us that the groundwater will be contaminated causing bacterial infections which could lead to respiratory and gastro-intestinal infections if the waste convertor is set up.”

Mr. Shrivastava pointed out that there are several residential blocks and a school in the vicinity. He also echoed the sentiments of the residents who felt that the place could become a breeding place for mosquitoes.

Meanwhile, a press release issued by the association stated that the construction of the organic waste converter, which has begun, is in violation of norms. For instance, the convertor is being constructed on a storm-water drain which is prohibited by the Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act, the release added.

Copies of a memorandum signed by 125 residents were submitted to the Mayor, the Commissioner and the Chief Engineer (South), the Additional Commissioner (South), the Executive Engineer and the MLA from Jayanagar. The memorandum has demanded that criminal proceedings against the officials concerned for constructing the waste convertor without mandatory permissions.

The residents said that during the protest, various officials came to the area and threatened them and also used “abusive language” and refused to redress their grievances.

Responding to this, K.V. Trilokchandra, Additional Commissioner (South) told The Hindu that the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is waiting for legal opinion. “We will ensure that we address the concerns of the residents before setting up the organic waste convertor,” he added.

However, he refused to comment on the alleged misbehaviour of officials who entered into a tiff with the residents during the protest.

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