'Bengaluru has rules but no will to manage waste'

POOR PLANNING: The BBMP keeps changing the colour code for garbage bins leading to confusion among resident. (DH File Photo)

Bengaluru tops Indian cities in solid waste management rules but comes last in enforcing them, experts said on Sunday. 

Bengaluru is the only city in India to have rules and laws on garbage disposal but there is no one to speak on how they should be implemented. As a result, only half of the garbage generated in the city is scientifically managed, said Shekar Prabhakar, Managing Director, Hasiru Dala Innovations Private Limited, a waste management services enterprise. 

He was speaking at a day-long conference on 'Exploring the challenges cities face on the road to resilience-discussing the future of Bangalore'. 

"Will Bengaluru's burgeoning air and water problem force the city into a Bangkok-like shutdown," Divya Narayan of Jhatkaa.org asked. She said waste generators, collectors and the government must work together, but that was not happening. "Bengaluru is the worst in garbage management," panellists said. 

Malini Parmar, the co-founder of Stonesoup, said the High Court of Karnataka's decision to lay down solid waste management rules for Bengaluru had prompted 15 other Indian cities to voluntarily start the two-bin one-bag method. While other Indian cities have been following the prescribed colour code for bins, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) keeps changing the colour code of bins (red, blue and green), she said. 

Citing the example of Church Street, Jaideep Singh, co-founder, Ambee, a start-up, said having two bins for wet and dry waste was of no help as their content was the same. "This is because there is no clear demarcation of which is for what," he added. 

Singh linked improper waste management to the rising cases of garbage burning. "This has increased the number of toxins in the air, leading to more air pollution and more health problems. In cities like Bangkok, there is a shutdown when AQI (air quality index) increases the 100 threshold but that's not the case in any Indian city," he noted.

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