Piles of trash line streets, city faces garbage crisis

Piles of trash line streets, city faces garbage crisis

Huge mounds of trash dumped near the busy KR Market and (right) near the Upparpet police station on Tank Bund Road.DH Photos/Pushkar V & S K Dinesh

Despite Mayor Gangambike Mallikarjun’s city rounds creating awareness on scientific disposal of garbage, the city is on the verge of facing another garbage crisis. With the Bellahalli quarry full and the civic body running out of options, several major streets of Bengaluru are lined with mounds of garbage.

With intermittent rains, the garbage piles are turning out to be the breeding grounds for mosquitoes and may add to the rising dengue and chikungunya cases. This prompted Union Minister D V Sadananda Gowda to tweet, “It has been brought to my notice that the city has witnessed more than 350 dengue cases due to improper disposal of garbage.” He urged the BBMP to act swiftly and resolve the issue.

The mess, according to sources in the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), is due to the civic body’s failure to identify alternative arrangements for waste treatment.

However, insiders in BBMP attribute it to a political fight over distribution of infrastructure funds to two adjoining constituencies of Bengaluru North — Yelahanka and Byatarayanapura — that house quarries-turned-landfills.

‘Funds diverted’

While Byatarayanapura constituency was allocated with Rs 563.99 crore for infrastructure works, Yelahanka, which has the most landfills, was given only Rs 111.06 crore to take up development work around Bellahalli landfill, according to sources. Yelahanka MLA S R Vishwanath has even alleged that the funds meant for Yelahanka were diverted to Byatarayanapura.

Vishwanath told DH, “I had requested them (BBMP) many times for funds. But they never allocated us what was demanded. There is an immediate need for developing areas around the landfill. But the government diverted the funds. Now, the landfill is almost full and the city is full of garbage. What will BBMP do to resolve the mess?”  

Acknowledging the problem, Mayor Gangambike said, “I agree that most of the city roads are littered with garbage. Though the Bellahalli landfill is full, we can dump waste for one more month. But the problem is that trucks are unable to reach the quarry due to muddy roads. We have now floated tenders for a landfill at Mitiganahalli quarry. It is yet to be approved. We hope it is be approved soon so the crisis ends.”