Waste plant impasse continues, as protesters refuse to back down

Minister M.T.B. Nagaraj and BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta met the protesters at Gundlahalli on the city’s outskirts on Tuesday in a bid to resolve the issue.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Communities living around the MSGP waste processing plant at Chigaranahalli continued with their stir on Tuesday, six days since they started the protest.

The impasse between the protesting communities and the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) continues as the protestors demand complete closure of the plant. The protesting communities refused to withdraw their stir despite assurance from Minister for Small Scale Industries and Municipal Administration N. Nagaraj (M.T.B. Nagaraj) of better plant management.

According to senior civic officials, who were part of the delegation that met with the protesting communities, the Minister, who is also in-charge of Bengaluru (Rural) district, urged the communities to withdraw their stir. He also urged them to allow the plant to operate and not stop garbage vehicles from the city. When the communities said the protest would be withdrawn only when the Government announces complete closure of the plant, the Minister reportedly stated that this was not an option.

The protestors pointed out that none of the protocols and regulations were being adhered to. They alleged that the civic body was sending more waste to the plant than was initially agreed upon. “Rules state that steps should be taken to avoid birds, dogs and fly menace by ensuring scientific disposal of waste, and monitoring of ambient air quality once a month. The BBMP is supposed to submit periodic reports on the quantum of waste received, processed and disposed. However, these are followed only in violation,” charged one of the protestors.

K.V. Sathyaprakash, a resident of Moodalakalenahalli, said that only closure of the plant will ensure justice to the villages coming under four gram panchayats - Battarahalli, Sasalu, Sakkaregollahalli and Arodi - and their communities.

The protesting communities, however, have allowed civic officials to take up cleaning at the plant and surrounding areas. “The leachate tank breached and flowed into the kunte and watershed. While the water will be completely pumped out from the kunte, the water in the watershed will be treated,” the official said.

The MSGP plant at Chigaranahalli is among the few processing units functioning. Following protests by local communities, legal wrangles and other issues, processing plants at Lingadheeranahalli, Seegehalli and Subbarayanapalya have remained shut for months. This has put immense pressure on not just the landfill, but also the remaining processing plants, including MSGP, Chikkanagamangala, Doddabidarakallu, Kannahalli and Karnataka Compost Development Corporation (KCDC).

Meanwhile, residents in a few parts of the city complained about garbage not being picked up by the BBMP. Meenakshi Prabhu, a resident of Chennammanakere Achhkattu, said that garbage from the area was not picked up for the second consecutive day. BBMP officials, however, maintained that waste was picked up as usual from across the city. “This could be due to some local issues. We are sending most of the garbage that was to be sent to MSGP to the landfill and some portion to the other processing plants,” an official added.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 1:59:19 AM |

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