Forest faces threat from garbage

Despite recommendations against the setting up of a waste processing unit adjacent to B.M. Kaval Reserve Forest and Turahalli Minor Forest by the Rajarajeshwarinagar regional officer of Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), it is now learnt that the board has cleared the decks for the same.

Among the last patches of wooded areas in the city and famed as a habitat to an impressive array of wildlife, Turahalli now finds itself threatened by Bangalore’s burgeoning garbage.

With round-the-clock police protection, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is briskly working on establishing a waste processing unit over nine acres adjacent to the forest. An eight-foot high compound is being constructed.

Incensed by the development, residents of Banashankari 6 Stage, 5 Block have even approached the National Green Tribunal. Their plea is likely to come up for hearing later this month. With wild animals routinely sighted in the area, it is not surprising that residents are opposed to the proposed unit.

Devaraj, a resident, feared that the unit may affect the ecosystem, wildlife and also pollute groundwater and two lakes – Somapura and Gowdanakere – in the vicinity.

In fact, the KSPCB’s regional officer had noted that the site is not suitable for a waste processing unit as it is adjacent to a forest and also because houses had come up in a layout nearby developed by the BDA. Besides this, the Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000, stipulate a 500-metre buffer zone.

BBMP Commissioner M. Lakshminarayan defended the project. “We are setting up the unit on a civic amenity site in the BDA Layout; it is not a landfill. Only wet waste will be composted here in a closed environment,” he said and added that residents’ fear of pollution is unfounded.

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 1:11:58 AM |

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