Thursday, October 30, 2008

Contractors in a fix, no place to dump garbage

Contractors in a fix, no place to dump garbage
By Satish Shile, DH News Service, Bangalore:
Now garbage contractors in Bangalore city are in a fix. They have no place to dump garbage collected in the city.

The scientific landfill unit set up near Doddaballapur, which started its operation in July this year, has stopped functioning after villagers demanded shift of the unit.

Within a few days after the unit started accepting waste, villagers around the unit began protesting against it.

They alleged bad smell from the plant has been affecting their lives and expressed their fear of ground water getting polluted. Doddaballapur taluk Raitha Sangha and villagers of Gundalur, where the plant is located, continued protests till the their demand is met. It has already been one-and-a-half month since Terra Firma, the company managing the unit, stopped accepting waste.

Chandra Tejasvi, secretary of Chikkaballapur district Raitha Sangha, said “The idea of BBMP to have dumping yard for urban waste in rural areas in itself is condemnable. Why should villagers be made scapegoats? If at all they want to process waste, they should do it scientifically. Villagers in the area up to 5 km radius around the unit had to suffer bad smell. They could not eat or sleep well.”

“Initially villagers threw stones at our trucks. We filed complaints with the police. Later they began to protest by sleeping on the way to the unit. As a result trucks stopped going there and we went on searching alternative sites to dispose wastes,” said Balasubramaniyam, General Secretary of BBMP Garbage Contractors’ Association. Contractors managed to dump waste in an abandoned quarry at Dyanappanahalli in Bommanahalli for a month. However, they could not continue there for long. Residents of the area raised voice and under the leadership of Bommanahalli MLA Satish Reddy they succeeded to stop the menace.

Reddy said, “It is illegal to dump waste in city limits. Despite opposition from the public, contractors continued to dump waste. I appealed to the Palike Commissioner to stop that. But he did not budge. Later we filed cases against eight truck owners for dumping waste in Hulimavu police station and since then dumping of waste has stopped.”


On an average 2,000 MT of garbage is generated in the city. The total generation goes up to 3,000 MT during Deepavali. Unable to find suitable space to dump waste, contractors are in search of abandoned quarries.

However, dumping in abandoned quarries is illegal.

“The Palike should be blamed for the inconvenience. It has failed to provide dumping yards. If we dump in abandoned quarries the public oppose and Pollution Control Board also raises object. If we don’t lift garbage we will be termed villains in the eyes of the public. If the problem is not solved soon we will stage a protest by not lifting garbage in the city.” said a contractor, who wished not to be quoted.

A senior officer in the Palike said that the Palike was working out strategies to convince villagers around the plant area. “I hope the problem will be solved soon,” said the officer.


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