The garbage woes dogging Bangalore and other cities in the State figures high on the list of priorities for the newly appointed Chairman of the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board, Vaman Acharya.
In his first interaction with the media after taking charge, Dr. Acharya dwelt on the plans he envisages to tackle the garbage issue. Each Assembly constituency should have sites — need not necessarily be within the constituency — where the segregated garbage is converted into “good garbage” to be used for generation of gas, electricity or vermi-composting.
However, he said identification of the sites for each constituency itself may take up to six to eight months, while the conversion of good garbage into energy could follow a few months later.
When asked about the issues facing existing landfills around Bangalore, Dr. Acharya said the board was constrained to withdraw the permission for Mavallipura landfill as the conditions set for treatment of waste were violated. The Terra Firma landfill, Dr. Acharya said, had a different issue. “The garbage being dumped in the landfill far exceeded its capacity,” he said.
However, he said he had a “passion” for addressing garbage issues and would take up the woes plaguing the city as a “challenge” and try to resolve them.
“I am a scavenger of Bangalore. I deem it a privilege to be called so,” he said, during the course of his address to the media. “Whenever a garbage van passes by, people may close their nostrils. But I like the smell of garbage. Garbage is a great national asset,” he said.
But, Dr. Acharya said it would be impossible to impose a complete ban on plastic.
“Even the bags used to segregate garbage are made out of plastic,” he remarked, but added that e90fforts should be made to minimise its use and deploy technology to re-use plastics. Already technology is available to melt plastic into fuel like diesel, he said.
Dr. Acharya said he would like to address the “invisible” pollution of sound by creating awareness among the public. Noise pollution in the city on account of honking is growing, he said.
Referring to pollution by industries, Dr. Acharya said the board’s efforts will be towards containing the environmental hazards caused by the industries.
“However, the owners of the industries are also concerned about the issue. They create wealth, employment and are national assets,” he said.
Later, a delegation from the Federation of Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI), led by its president K. Shiva Shanmugam called on Dr. Acharya and greeted him on his assumption of office.