Sunday, August 28, 2005

Lucre hidden in Bangalore garbage

Lucre hidden in Bangalore garbage
Deccan Herald

With no proper landfill site, BMP has been paying exorbitant sums of money to people willing to dump the City’s garbage on their land.

Here is a lucrative business proposition for those who own a few acres of land on the outskirts of the City and have not built a farm house yet: Contact the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike and make a discreet inquiry about dumping garbage. A humble villager, Bellappa, at Mavallipura some 20 km from the City, is already raking it in.

According to Chief Health Officer Dr Thandava Murthy, the BMP has been paying Mr Bellappa Rs 75,000 every week to dump 50 truckloads of garbage daily on his 20 acres of barren land. The BMP has been disposing garbage this way for the last eight months.

In other words, BMP has paid Mr Bellappa around Rs 24 lakh so far. This is over and above the contract worth Rs 18 crore that BMP has awarded another individual for cleaning and lifting garbage from the City.

“We want people like Bellappa to come forward and allow us to dispose of garbage, as BMP neither owns any land on the outskirts nor has a landfill site,” Dr Murthy said.

‘No option’

But sources in BMP’s health department said they have no other option but to offer huge sums as villagers all round the City are up in arms against garbage dumping, which has caused serious health problems in several places. As a result, BMP is now luring farmers by offering huge sums, they said.

According to JD(S) leader B R Nanjundappa, even BMP garbage contractors have been paying Rs 10,000 to 15,000 per month to small farmers to dump garbage on their land.

To quell the stench and get rid of the flies that swarm dump sites, BMP has advised farmers to spray Effective Micro-organism (EM) solution.

Of an estimated 250 trucks of garbage generated in the City every day, Karnataka Compost Development Corporation takes nearly 50 truckloads, 50 trucks of garbage are dumped on Mr Bellappa’s land and nearly 70 truckloads are dumped in an abandoned quarry in Garvebavipalya village. The rest is unloaded on private land.

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