Nearly a decade after dumping of city’s waste was stopped following a protest led by freedom fighter H.S. Doreswamy in 2014, the city administration has finally cleared a tender for biomining of the Mandur garbage landfill and reclaiming the land.
Bengaluru Solid Waste Management Ltd (BSWML) has finalised the tender to biomine an estimated 10 lakh metric tonnes of mixed waste garbage at the landfill spread over 135 acres in Mandur village on the outskirts of the city near Avalahalli. “We have finalised the tender and sent it for approval of the State government,” said Parameshwaraiah, CEO, BSWML.
Many earlier failed attempts
The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has been trying to finalise tenders for biomining the legacy waste at Mandur since 2014, but tenders have fallen through several times till date. The tender now finalised is the ninth time tenders have been called for the purpose. The tender has been finalised at ₹80 crore, sources said.
The private firm that has now bagged the contract will deploy trommels to separate the waste, into plastic, biodegradable and rejects. While the biodegradable waste will be composted and distributed to farmers, the Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) that cannot be processed will be sent to the Karnataka Power Corporation Limited’s Waste to Energy plant in Bidadi, where it will be used to convert it to electricity, sources said. The 135 acre land worth over ₹176 crore will be recovered and will be used to create a park and other facilities, sources said.
The villagers of Mandur who complained of diseases, mosquitoes, contamination of ground water resources and launched an agitation and successfully stopped dumping of waste in 2014, are cautiously welcoming the biomining project.
“When it rains, there is leachate from the landfill that still leaks, the waste mountain has been dormant for eight years now. We do not have mosquito menace and other health issues now. But biomining this waste mountain will only mean stirring the pot and we fear all issues will come back to haunt us till the landfill is cleared, which may take several years. We want the government to take all precautions and ensure our quality of life is not hampered,” said Gopal Rao, a resident of Mandur, who was one of those part of the protest in 2014.
Following the protests in 2014, then Chief Minister Siddaramaiah assured the villagers of Mandur that waste won’t be dumped at their village from December 1, 2014, and stuck to his word. Five waste processing plants in Doddabidarakallu, Chikkanagamangala, Kannahalli, Seegehalli and Subbarayanapalya were built within six months with an aim to stop landfilling of waste altogether.
However, with lax segregation of waste at source and protests by residents around waste processing plants, the civic body reverted to landfilling waste on the city’s outskirts this time in empty quarry pits in North Bengaluru. The civic body even today dumps most of the waste it generates in Mittaganahalli quarry pit. It has filled multiple quarry pits over the years and reclaimed some of them too.