Govt diverts Rs 150 crore city fund off BBMP limits

Govt diverts Rs 150 crore city fund off BBMP limits

DH file photo.

In a decision that has raised eyebrows, the state government has diverted Rs 150 crore from Bengaluru’s solid waste management kitty to Devanahalli, Hoskote, Nelamangala, Magadi and Ramanagara taluks.

This money is from the Rs 753 crore earmarked for solid waste management under the ‘Mukhyamantri Nava Bengaluru’ project, under which a whopping Rs 8,015 crore will be provided to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) over the next three years to develop the city’s infrastructure.

According to a government order, the aforementioned five taluks that are outside the city municipal limits, will get Rs 150 crore for “developmental works to be undertaken around solid waste disposal and processing units to be established in the future.”

This seems like a politically motivated decision, official sources say. Especially, given the four taluks are constituencies represented by JD(S) leaders -- Narayanaswamy L N (Devanahalli),  K Sreenivasamurthy (Nelamangala), A Manjunath (Magadi) and Anitha Kumaraswamy (Ramanagara). Hoskote is represented by Congress’ M T B Nagaraju, the housing minister.

The allocation provided for developing areas where waste processing units are operational - where locals have been protesting - pales when compared to the Rs 150 crore that the five taluks have received where waste processing units are proposed to be set up in the future.

For instance, development of areas around Doddabidarakallu, Lingadheeranahalli, Subbarayanapalya, Kannahalli and Seegehalli, plants have received only Rs 10 crore each. These waste processing units have met with stiff resistance from citizens living around them, due to the foul smell and the resultant mosquito menace.

For development of villages around Bellahalli, Mittiganhalli, Bagalur and other new landfills, just Rs 15 crore is made available.

While BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad was unavailable for comment, Additional Chief Secretary (urban development), Mahendra Jain told DH that the allocation to the five taluks was to “mitigate” the effects of sending the city’s waste there.

“Wherever Bengaluru’s waste goes, it creates some nuisance there. You need to mitigate that. The waste that goes into these areas will be compensated with better infrastructure,” Jain said.