Residents prevent garbage trucks from entering the landfill
Even as the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Council witnessed discussions on the mismanagement of solid waste at the dump yard in Mavallipura by Ramky Enviro Engineers Ltd., the local community prevented garbage trucks from entering the landfill there on Tuesday.
Following another death there on Monday, residents of Mavallipura and other communities resumed their protest. For six days last week, they had prevented garbage from the city being dumped in the landfill. They had called off the blockage after Mayor D. Venkatesh Murthy assured them of extending medical facilities.
B. Srinivas, resident and Dalit Sangharsh Samiti activist, said that Ramanjenappa (42) died of jaundice and kidney problems. A resident of Kurubarahalli, a little over one km from the dump yard, he was a mason and had worked on the landfill, constructing pits. “This once again underscores the danger that the BBMP has exposed the villagers to,” he said.
Meanwhile, Opposition Leader M.K. Gunashekar questioned how the BBMP had permitted Ramky to set up a waste to power plant at the site. Speaking during the budget discussion session, he said Ramky had flouted all the agreement norms by failing to scientifically dispose of tonnes of garbage, putting the lives of the community at risk.
Mr. Gunashekar sought to know why the BBMP accorded permission to Ramky to set up the waste to power unit without any discussion, when Commissioner himself had recommended that the civic body float global tenders for the project. He also pointed out that when Ramky had participated in a tender to set up the plant, the BBMP had disqualified the firm.
“Why was it permitted to set up the unit in Mavallipura? Why is the BBMP protecting Ramky? Action has been initiated against the company in other cities for failing to adhere to the agreement norms. The contract must be cancelled and global tenders floated after the issue is represented in the Council.”
Mr. Gunashekar added that nearly 12,000 tonnes of unprocessed waste was being dumped in the landfill every month.]
“The BBMP may be supplying water and conducting periodic health camps. But that is not a solution. People are dying due to leachate contaminating the water bodies. When will the BBMP wake up to this issue? Is there no value to the villagers’ lives?”
He charged that the BBMP had failed to float garbage tenders, even though the term of the previous contract ended more than two years ago. Officials had rejected for frivolous reasons the applications of genuine contractors who had quoted below the schedule of rates (SR), but accepted those of contractors who had quoted way above the SR. Urging the BBMP to float global tenders, he said: “There will be good response, given the active interest shown in solid waste management in BBMP limits during the recent Global Investors’ Meet.”
Speaking on various issues of the BBMP for more than 10 hours, Mr. Gunashekar is likely to continue to rip apart the BBMP’s 2012-13 budget on Wednesday as well.