Demand for more powers to tackle rising garbage menace

 Mayor Gangambike Mallikarjun speaks at a meeting on solid waste management on Tuesday. From left: Balashekar, Joint Commissioner, Raja Rajeshwari Nagar; D Randeep, Additional Commissioner, BBMP; Justice Subhash Adi, Chairman, NGT State-Level Monitoring Committee for SWM; Manoj Kumar, Engineer Member, Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), are seen.

To tackle the mounting garbage menace and completely rid the city of black spots, various citizen groups and individuals demanded the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to issue authorised ID cards to them, so as to ensure better efficiency.

On Tuesday, during the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) state-level committee’s meeting with solid waste management (SWM) stakeholders for Rajarajeshwari Nagar and Dasarahalli zones, the idea was unanimously proposed to the panel.

When waste segregation was raised as the main concern in the meeting, all the stakeholders including pourakarmikas, garbage contractors, citizens and resident welfare association members were of the view that empty sites and surroundings are rapidly turning into black spots.

The green panels’ state-level monitoring committee chairman (SWM) Justice (retd) Subhash B Adi accepted the suggestion and said he shall look into the legalities.

Misuse fears

This made the BBMP officials rather sceptical, as they feared the move would be misused by people.

“We have posted marshals and installed CCTV cameras at black spots to tackle the issue. This was suggested by the residents of two zones. We must consider the opinion of other people too in this regard. Suggestions are welcome. We will look into it,” a senior BBMP official told DH.

Various other suggestions from the stakeholders were presented before the panel as well.

Only 40% of garbage sorted

In his inaugural speech, Justice Subash Adi expressed unhappiness over the negligence of citizens.

“Though the segregation of waste was made mandatory three years ago, it is still not implemented effectively. In all our meetings, we have stressed the importance of waste segregation. Every day, 11,000 tonnes of garbage is generated in the state, of which, 5,800 tonnes is from Bengaluru.

“Only 40% of this garbage is segregated effectively, and the unsegregated waste is now dumped in quarries. The BBMP should seriously look into the issue. Citizens, non-governmental organisations and industries should join hands. The penalty should be doubled for those who are not segregating. Waste management should happen at the ward level. Only then the issue can be resolved,” he said.

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