Bengaluru looks to Goa to solve garbage problem

Waste dumped at Gandhi Bazaar on Tuesday, a day after the city celebrated Ganesha Chaturthi. DH PHOTO/ANUP R THIPPESWAMY

The city may take a leaf out of Goa’s book to solve its rising garbage problem. 

The BBMP and the National Green Tribunal’s State Level Monitoring Committee are studying the Goa model for the collection and disposal of solid waste. In the tiny state, an independent body consisting of experts from the environmental engineering is in charge of solid waste management. 

A senior official said the BBMP was finding it difficult to handle the 4,500 tonnes of garbage generated daily.  

“It’s time we had a separate agency for waste management as the BBMP has so many other areas to look into,” Sarfaraz Khan, Joint Commissioner (SWM), BBMP, told DH. “We do not have environmental engineers who understand waste management.” 

The BBMP runs eight waste treatments plants that are monitored by as many joint commissioners. “These joint commissioners have no expertise in waste management. Then they have entire (BBMP) zones to look after,” Khan explained. 

The BBMP has put ward engineers in charge of garbage collection and disposal although their domain is road engineering. “By setting up an independent agency for waste management, we can bring environmental engineers. Even separate waste can be treated properly then,” he said. 

Khan said the discussions on adopting the Goa model were still ongoing with officials gathering suggestions to prepare a draft proposal. 

H C Sharatchandra, a member of the NGT committee, agreed that having an independent agency could solve the garbage problem. “We have submitted the same recommendations thrice in the past 10 years. The Karnataka government did not take them seriously while Goa implemented them successfully,” said Sharatchandra, who earlier headed the KSPCB. “An independent agency for garbage management could put an end to the garbage mafia.” 

Kalpana Kaur, a member of the Technical Guidance Committee appointed by the high court in the matter of policymaking for waste management, supported the idea of an independent agency managing the waste. “If we can have separate entities for water and electricity supply, why not have one for garbage disposal. The draft recommendations will be finalised soon and placed before the government for approval,” she said. 

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