For the past week, residents living near the Karnataka Compost Development Corporation (KCDC) plant in Sector 6 of HSR Layout have had sleepless nights owing to the overpowering stench emanating from the plant.
Meera Rotti, general secretary of the Kudlu, Hosapalya, HSR Layout, Somasundarapalya and Parangipalya Residents’ Welfare Association, told The Hindu that this is a problem that residents face every year between January and June. “It is clear that standard operating procedures are not being followed. The plant is not being managed by persons with technical know-how,” she said.
The residents have for years been up in arms against the KCDC plant. They allege that the number of people having respiratory infections has been on the rise. Young children have been put on anti-allergic drugs.
“The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) sprayed some scent to suppress the stench, they incorporated biofilters too ... nothing has worked. We have been cooperating with the civic body, as our waste is our responsibility. But with this level of mismanagement and lack of accountability, we don’t think the situation is going to improve,” Ms. Rotti said.
Somasundarapalya resident Kamesh Rastogi blamed the situation on the apathy of Bengaluru Development Minister K.J. George, Bommanahalli MLA Satish Reddy and BBMP officials. “Assurances are made after each protest, but none is met. We have been suffering for the past five years. With elections just months away, political parties are exploiting our situation to further their own agendas,” he said, and added that the residents’ request to meet Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Mr. George had not been entertained for two years.
The residents now claim that the only recourse left for them is the legal route. “We will not rest until the plant is shifted out of the residential locality,” they added.
Countering their claims, Veerabhadrappa, BBMP’s Joint Commissioner (Bommanahalli zone) who is in charge of the KCDC plant, said the quantum of wet waste being sent to the plant had reduced and that the SOPs were being followed. He added that biofilters installed there were working round the clock. “Recently, a team visited the plant as part of Swachchata Sarveskshan and they expressed satisfaction at the way it is being run.”
Mayor R. Sampath Raj also said the SOPs were in place and also that officials had been directed to ensure that the inconvenience caused to residents is minimised.