Landfill sapped village of its vitals

Mandur, where villagers are opposing the dumping of the City’s waste, was once home to a unique variety of grapes, Bangalore Blue, and mangoes. Not any more.

The sleepy village on the outskirts of the City used to produce a bumper crop of fruits every year. Its grapes and mangoes were in great demand and farming remained a lucrative job, till BBMP set up a landfill there.

According to the villagers, the Palike assured them that it would adopt best practices and ensure that there would not be any stink. They were promised that the power that would be generated from waste would be supplied to them first, free of cost. Villagers found the offer too attractive to ignore, but now they repent allowing the landfill to come up there. However, free power remains a distant dream.

30 tonnes of grapes

The village was producing about 30 tonnes of grape till seven years ago, but now its production has come down to less than three tonnes a year. The milk production has also come down from 40 cans a day to three cans a day. Production of mangoes, ragi and coconut too has come down drastically. The villagers rear sheep and goats for a living, but that profession is also in danger due to the sudden rise in the number of stray dogs.

There have been a number of instances of dogs killing the sheep and goats. A pack of stray dogs once attacked and killed a herd of 15 sheep on a single day.

Enough damage

N Chandrashekhar, a Gram Panchayat member, lamented, “There is no end to our woes. Even if the landfill is closed, the deadly bacteria and insects originating from the landfill have caused enough damage to our lives and sources of income, besides taking away our peace of mind.”

The statements are no exaggeration. The trees in the mango grove next to the landfill have all but withered.

Hanumanthappa, a villager, said, “For the last seven years, thousands of trees have not borne a single fruit.”

He said flies from the landfill had destroyed the grape trees. The leachate flowing from the landfill has completely destroyed many eucalyptus trees in the village.

Shantinagar citizens stage protest

The residents of Shantinagar led by their legislator N A Haris staged a protest against the Palike for its faiure to clear garbage in seven wards of their constituency. Shantinagar alone produces 500-600 metric tonnes of garbage every day, and for the past one week garbage has not been cleared in many areas. 

Haris alleged that BBMP neither set up any new segregation centres nor adopted scientific methods of disposing garbage. He said despite collecting garbage cess for the past two years, Pallike has failed to ensure hygienic environment in the locality.

He said garbage strewn on the road coupled with stagnant rainwater were impeding vehicular movement. He urged the Palike to create more garbage collection points and segregation centres, keeping in mind the quantity of garbage that would be generated in the next 10 years.

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