The garbage issue does not show any sign of abating in the city as the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is still finding it hard to tackle the situation. With communities living near dump yards that are largely unscientific erupting into protests, the civic body is striving to find a solution to the problem.
The BBMP is contemplating on an action plan to develop areas surrounding the dump yards, besides appointing Municipal Magistrates. With more communities protesting against garbage being dumped in their back yards, the BBMP has decided to provide basic civic facilities there. Criticising Srinivas Gayathri Resource Recovery Ltd. for failing to fulfil the tender conditions prescribed for the landfill at Mandur, BBMP Commissioner Rajneesh Goel directed the officials to issue a notice to the company. The officials were also asked to supply potable water through tankers to the villages and organise health camps regularly.
If all goes as per plan, the BBMP will have Municipal Magistrates at the ward level. These magistrates will have the powers to levy penalty on offenders for littering.
Mr. Goel said that this was still in the preliminary stage. “However, this appointment will be the first in the State. A senior official will be appointed at the ward level who will oversee the implementation of the ban order on the use of plastic and segregation of waste at source. He will have the power to levy penalty on violators.” Senior officials said that the BBMP can impose penalty under the Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act, 1976, albeit only after conviction.
The adage “better late than never” seems to be true of the BBMP. The civic body has woken up to the unutilised Rs. 37 crore granted by the 13th Finance Commission to be used for setting up segregation centres. The BBMP has not utilised this fund since 2007. This fact was revealed at the review meeting chaired by Mr. Goel, who immediately directed the officials concerned to identify suitable places and set up segregation centres.
On Monday, residents of Bettadasapura staged a protest against the dumping of garbage. With Mavallipura shut down by Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), it is said that the BBMP is sending nearly 1,500 tonnes of garbage to Mandur and some to Lakshmipura on Bannerghatta Road. Contractors are also sending garbage to some private landfills across the city.
Mayor D. Venkatesh Murthy said that the land identified at S. Bangipura would soon be ready and garbage could be sent there as well. He said that he and Commissioner Rajneesh Goel met Doddaballapur MLA J. Narasimha Swamy to discuss means to end the impasse at the Terra Firma landfill. “The issue will be settled soon and dumping will resume,” he said.
He said that the BBMP was in the process of getting 212 acres that the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation will be giving to the BBMP to create landfills, surveyed. “There is no option now. Henceforth, the BBMP must ensure that all landfills/ dump yards are scientific,” he said.