“Look at our village’s pride - our kasagundibettas (mountains of garbage). You will not be able to stand there for two minutes,” says Nandish Gowda, a resident and social activist, pointing at the mounds of garbage in the Mandur landfill. He was pointing at how the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had changed their village and their lives.
Several hundred tonnes of garbage, stagnant water, mosquitoes, stray dogs and the stench emanating from the landfill continues to haunt the residents of Mandur. BBMP stopped dumping waste at the Mandur landfill from Friday. But the question that residents are raising is how the civic body will clear almost 15 lakh tonnes of accumulated waste from the landfill.
Several BBMP projects launched to clear accumulated waste have been mired in controversy. BBMP Commissioner M. Lakshminarayana conceded that there was currently just one functional organic waste convertor plant with a capacity of 300 tonnes in Mandur, and that they would soon clear the garbage from the landfill.
Locals confirmed that on Friday night, one truckload of garbage reached the landfill, but was sent back by the BBMP engineers. Mr. Nandish Gowda said he is confident that the government would not send waste to the Mandur landfill, but added that residents would not hesitate to move the court if the government failed to keep its promise.
Other residents hope that their situation will improve. Muniamma (75), who has spent sleepless nights because of the sound of the trucks that used to line up late in the night, is hoping that she will be able to sleep in peace.
Chandru L., another resident, said that they had stopped going out of their houses after 8 p.m. soon after truckloads of garbage started arriving. “Garbage from the trucks would spill over along the road and nauseating stench emanated from it. Festival days were the worst days for us as trucks would reach Mandur much before their scheduled time,” he added.
Mr. Chandru added that while most people in their village tried to manage their waste at source, it was “completely unfair” to dump the city’s waste on them. He also said that the fogging and spraying activities had taken a backseat over the past few days. “Now that the garbage will not come here, our concerns will be forgotten. It will be difficult for us to live amidst the existing accumulated garbage,” he added.