Don't take wet waste at SWM plant: panel to BBMP

Don't take wet waste at SWM plant: panel to BBMP

Members of the NGT's state-level committee at the waste plant in Chikkanagamangala on Sunday. SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

The BBMP must stop accepting mixed waste at the Solid Waste Management (SWM) plant at Chikkanagamangala, a state-level committee of the National Green Tribunal ordered after inspecting the site on Sunday. 

The committee, comprising its chairman Justice Subhash Adi and officials from the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) and the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), carried out the inspection after local residents complained of a foul odour and poisonous gases emanating from the plant located off Electronics City in southern Bengaluru.

Residents have also opposed a waste-to-energy (WtE) plant coming up there, saying it would be incineration-based and could worsen the situation. They had recently written to the NGT which responded by promising to inspect the place. 

At the SWM plant, officials were greeted with a huge pile of garbage weighing about 11,000 metric tonnes and compost dumped on the ground. They asked for the garbage to be given to cement factories on long-term contracts. The compost must be packed and stocked at the plant. KSPCB and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) officials also pointed out various irregularities at the plant, such as the dumping and burning of plastic in a quarry pit. 

“Justice Subhash Adi has asked the KSPCB to check the odour. We will soon discuss ways to do this,” said Manoj Kumar, Member Secretary, KSPCB. 

The committee asked the BBMP to make sure that all the wet waste coming from the 44 wards of southern Bengaluru is composted at the ward level itself. A meeting in this regard will be held with officials of the BBMP’s south zone next week. 

Pranay Dubey, a local resident, said the SWM plant was working beyond its 500-metric tonne capacity. “There are hardly any composting facilities in the BBMP wards in southern Bengaluru and that’s why they are sending their waste to this plant,” he said. “This plant is overstretched and cannot process more waste.” 

While the committee’s visit brought some hope to the residents, there was no word about the WtE plant. On the contrary, BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad said the WtE plant would be set up in the next two months in collaboration with a French company. “It will address many of the garbage problems,” he promised.