Experts come down heavily on Tumakuru-KGF plan

For the past few years, there have been efforts to move towards a decentralised waste management strategy in Bengaluru, with residents segregating at source. However, the city administration is slowly moving away from this and towards a centralised garbage system even though this has been deemed ineffective. The setting up of massive 1,000-acre “waste parks” in Madhugiri and KGF is an example of a centralised system being put in place. In violation of the December 2015 High Court order that mandated segregation at source, the civic body is already operating four landfills.

Meanwhile, segregation at source in the city is less than 40%. Muniratna, MLA for RR Nagar, had recently announced a 10 TPD capacity dedicated segregation unit at Mathikere.

Status update
  • Waste generation in the city: 4,000 TPD
  • Six processing plants working on composting: total capacity is 1,800 TPD
  • Plants most suitable for wet waste. Segregation less than 40%
  • BBMP operates four landfills which presently takes over 2,000 TPD mixed waste
  • The government has decided to convert all compost-based processing plants into waste to energy plants
  • Five other waste to energy plants with a total capacity of 3,100 TPD have been underway, yet to be commissioned
  • BDA estimates waste generation by 2031 to be 18,390 TPD
  • Over estimate since it extrapolates from waste generated today, which BDA has got it wrong as 7,800 TPD

“Instead of enforcing segregation at source, city planners are moving towards creating infrastructure to handle mixed waste. It is inexplicable why the idea of segregation is often dismissed as impractical,” said V. Ravichandar, member, BBMP Restructuring Committee.

While the government claims that the “waste parks” in the neighbouring districts will see investments into waste processing technology — waste to energy, biogas and composting — Kalpana Kar, member, SWM expert committee, said that no plans have been made and no company has come forward. “These massive parks are most likely to end up as landfills, creating huge environmental issues. The projects have not come before the expert committee for our approval and we will oppose it,” she said.

According to Ms. Kar, a market-oriented recycling park to handle multiple streams of waste like animal, glass, sanitary waste and other such niche streams is the need of the hour. This should be part of the BDA master plan, she said.

The State government has not got an Environment Impact Assessment Study for the projects, and citizens say that no public consultations were organised either with them or residents in Madhugiri and KGF.

Moreover, the move comes in violation of multiple High Court orders that have mandated segregation and decentralised waste processing at the Assembly constituency level. Garbage management in the city has seen multiple scams in transportation of waste to the destination. For instance, the Technical Vigilance Cell, working under the Commissioner (TVCC) of BBMP, had uncovered a scam of ₹631 crore during 2014-15 in transportation of garbage.

“Taking waste to neighbouring districts for over 100 km each day, will only increase the transport expenses multiple times and make it contractor intensive,” Mr. Ravichandar said.

As the two massive “waste parks” are being defended as infrastructure for future, the BDA has estimated that the city will generate 18,390 tonnes of waste per day by 2031.

However, the authority’s estimates have proven to be faulty as it claims the waste generation today is over 7,800 tonnes per day (TPD). BBMP officials, however, put the figure at not more than 4,000 TPD.

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Printable version | May 25, 2020 3:47:12 PM |

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