Garbage-slip poses a threat to residents near Pachhanady landfill site

Garbage from a dumping yard has slipped onto a farm at Pachchanady in Mangaluru on Wednesday.

Garbage from a dumping yard has slipped onto a farm at Pachchanady in Mangaluru on Wednesday.  

As it has been raining heavily since Sunday night, garbage has slipped onto adjoining farms

In the last three months, Ravindra Bhat and members of other families living in the Kudupu Mandara area had to bear with smoke emanating from the garbage landfill site of Mangaluru City Corporation in Pachhanady after a fire broke out there. Now, they are forced to bear with stench from leachate flowing continuously through the drain passing through their fields. “Leachate is damaging our fields. It is percolating into the ground contaminating groundwater,” Mr. Ravindra Bhat told The Hindu, as he fends off houseflies swarming him. “This is only a glimpse of what happens here. There will be a lot more [houseflies] when it stops raining. We also have to contend with mosquitoes and related infection,” he said.

Mr. Ravindra Bhat is a resident of Mandara Mane, an old farmhouse that adjoins the agriculture farm that belongs to Nagesh. Mr. Nagesh’s farm has been largely damaged as garbage in the upper reaches slipped from the landfill site in Panchanady on Tuesday due to rain. Several arecanut and coconut trees have fallen and some more are facing a threat as garbage is slipping and covering more area on Nagesh’s farm. Leachate continues to flow in full force through Nagesh’s farm and joining the storm-water drain that passes through Mr. Ravindra Bhat’s farm and then joins the Gurupura.

As it has been raining heavily since Sunday night, a large part of the soil-capped garbage slipped onto the farm land of Ram Bhat.

“Garbage from the upper reaches has slipped onto the areanut and coconut plantations. It has covered a big pond in my land, the generator shed and also brought down a few electricity poles. Our vacant farmhouse has been partially damaged,” rued Mr. Ram Bhat. From Mr. Ram Bhat’s farm, the garbage heap has further slipped onto Mr. Nagesh’s farmland and is likely to further slip onto other adjoining farms.

Mr. Ram Bhat and Mr. Ravindra Bhat are among the several residents who have spared their land for the landfill site of the corporation. “We gave our land believing that the corporation will set up a state-of-the-art garbage disposal plant. We are repenting now,” Mr. Ravindra Bhat said and added that the corporation has ignored their demand to have a proper drainage system for leachate. The absence of a proper drainage system has led to garbage slipping, he said.

“This is forcing us to give away our land and vacate the area permanently,” Manohar, Mr. Ram Bhat’s neighbour, said.

Corporation Commissioner Mohammed Nazir, who visited the area, said that they are yet to establish the reason for the garbage-slip. Mr. Nazir said that the corporation cannot take up any relief works during rain. “We hope rain subsides and garbage-slip does not cause any harm to residents,” he said.

On Wednesday, personnel from Antony Waste Handling Cell Pvt Ltd., which handles solid waste management for the corporation, were posted to clear blockades to ensure easy flow of leachate into the storn-water drain. “Once it stops raining, will take steps to clear the garbage and construct a proper bund,” Mr. Nazir added.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 3:12:53 AM |

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