BBMP may not be able to meet November 1 deadline on landfills

Subhash B. Adi, head, Karnataka chapter of NGT, addressing councillors on Saturday at a special meeting to discuss solid waste management.   | Photo Credit: V Sreenivasa Murthy

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), which is yet to finalise the Solid Waste Management (SWM) contract for Bengaluru, is under pressure to adhere to objectives put forth by the Karnataka chapter of the National Green Tribunal (NGT). Addressing the BBMP council on Saturday, Subhash B. Adi, who heads the chapter, urged the civic body to not depend on landfills for the dumping of mixed waste from November 1.

Expressing his displeasure over the continuation of dumping mixed waste in landfills despite rules and regulations, Mr. Adi said that the only way forward is strict enforcement of compulsory segregation of waste at source. “Dumping mixed waste in landfills is a criminal offence. Recently, the deputy commissioner has denied space for a new landfill, and the existing landfills will shortly run out of space,” he said.

Segregation and in-situ composting is the way forward.

Effective segregation of waste at source is the answer to Bengaluru’s dependence on landfills. While addressing councillors and officials, he sought their help to meet the NGT’s objectives on a range of issues from the use of plastic to segregation of waste at source. “Though it [the latter] was made mandatory three years ago, it is still not being implemented properly,” he said.

Mr. Adi warned the BBMP that heavy fines would be imposed if it did not comply with the order. Unless there is a fear of liability of huge fines, people will not take the issue seriously. “There should be a online process for immediate, strict, and effective system to collect fines,” he said.

He urged the councillors to take forward the Namma Kasa-Namma Javabdari initiative to every ward by installing wet waste composting units. “We must give priority to in-situ composting and community composting. I have already directed officials to identify land in each ward for community composting,” he said.

Mayor Gangambike Mallikarjun said that the civic body would seek more time to stop dumping of mixed wasted in landfills. “Since the fresh tender is yet to be finalised, we would need more time to implement what the NGT says,” the Mayor said.

Ms. Mallikarjun called upon citizens to cooperate with the BBMP for proper implementation of the plastic ban and SWM Rules of 2016.

Under the new garbage tenders that are likely to be finalised soon, contractors can pick up only segregated wet waste while ragpickers will be given the responsibility of collecting dry waste twice a week, she said.

Former mayor G. Padmavathi requested the NGT to give ‘special packages’ to industrial areas that are different from residential areas. “Wards which have thriving cottage industries and other small-scale units produce a lot of waste. Hence, they need special infrastructure,” she said.

A senior councillor told The Hindu that though the intention of the NGT was good, some of its guidelines were not feasible. “They want ward level composting units. However, scores of wards across the city have no space for anything,” the councillor said.

Implement 100% plastic ban by September 1

Mr. Adi asked the BBMP to reach the target of 100% plastic ban by September 1. The Statewide ban on plastic came into effect in March 2016, following which the BBMP issued a circular in May fixing the penalty on those found manufacturing, supplying, storing, transporting, selling and distributing, and using the banned item.

The BBMP commissioner will appear before the NGT on August 20 regarding SWM.

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Printable version | Jan 13, 2022 2:28:13 AM |

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