It’s back to dumping garbage in landfills

Waste woes: Uncleared garbage at Ravindra Kalakshetra, near the BBMP head office, in Bengaluru on Monday. — Photo K. Murali Kumar  

With inadequate segregation of waste at source, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is now looking to dump the city’s garbage in landfills again.

Bengaluru had moved away from dumping mixed waste in landfills and the civic body had promised citizens a cleaner city by processing waste at the six new plants. But the civic body is backtracking on its decision and accusing citizens of non-compliance regarding segregation at source.

The proposal to dump waste in landfills comes three months after the High Court of Karnataka made segregation of waste at source mandatory.

According to Sarfaraz Khan, BBMP’s Joint Commissioner (Solid Waste Management), four quarries have been identified in different parts of the city. Stressing that this is a “temporary measure”, he confirmed that work on readying two quarries – Bettahalli and Mittaganahalli – had begun with the pits being lined with geo-membrane to prevent leakage of leachate.

The geomembrane will have an outlet for the leachate to flow into the treatment plants that will be set up in situ. This way, the moisture content will be removed, which is an odour control measure. He said that both quarries will be ready in 10 days’ time.

“Once these quarries are closed, we will plant saplings and convert the area into parks. All measures to prevent any sort of inconvenience to the local communities will be taken,” he claimed.

Incidentally, when the garbage crisis besieged the city last year, the Solid Waste Management (SWM) Expert Committee, based on recommendations of a former BBMP commissioner, had identified 25 quarries on the outskirts where mixed waste could be dumped. However, the proposal was dropped, albeit temporarily, fearing protests from local communities. The four identified quarries are part of the 25 that were listed earlier.

N.S. Ramakanth, member of SWM Expert Committee, confirmed that the committee had given its assent to the move. “Much against the principles and advocacy of the expert committee, we have approved dumping of waste in two quarries. This is to ensure that mixed waste is not sent to any of the six new processing units,” he said.

The processing units refuse mixed waste forcing garbage contractors to dump it indiscriminately, besides setting it on fire in a clandestine manner.

Same reasons, promises

When the city was staring at a gargantuan garbage crisis a few years ago, the BBMP sought approval to dump mixed waste in two quarry pits. Stating that this would be a temporary measure, the civic body started dumping waste at Bingipura and Lakshmipura on the outskirts after assuring local communities to take all steps to avoid any sort of inconvenience.

Sadly, none of the assurances were kept.

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Printable version | Mar 9, 2021 3:15:39 AM |

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