Undoing landfills to cost BBMP fortunes

It took more than a decade and crores of rupees (approximately
Rs 350 crore a year) for the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to create the highly toxic garbage hillocks at Mavallipura and Mandur. Now the civic agency will spend another decade and crores of rupees to undo the damage.

As part of its 'social responsibility,' the Palike will undertake the Herculean task of detoxifying Mandur and Mavallipura landfills which bore the brunt of City's unprecedented growth in the last two decades. It will disintegrate the garbage mounds oozing leachate and emanating unbearable stench, by biomining and deodorising them.

Biomining

According to an estimate, the Mandur landfill has at least 10 lakh tonnes to 20 lakh tonnes of garbage. Under the biomining project, the Palike will dig out the mound and extract desired material from it. It will convert plastic into fuel, generate biocompost and biogas and leave about 10 per cent of inerts at the landfill site.

Palike Commissioner Rajneesh Goel told Deccan Herald that dumping at landfills was prohibited under the Municipal Solid Waste Rules, 2000. However, the BBMP continued dumping mixed waste at the landfill sites, which spoilt the atmosphere of the villages in the vicinity. Presently leachate and the suffocating gases emanate from the garbage mounds, which have made the lives of the villagers miserable. “We (the Palike) wrecked havoc in Mavallipura and Mandur and it is our responsibility to restore them,” said Goel.

Goel opined that Palike may have to spend about Rs 100 per tonne to biomine the garbage hillocks. To neutralise the stench, the civic agency will set up nozzles and use fine-mixed spray at the two landfill sites. About 600 nozzles will be fixed at Mandur alone.

Damage evaluation

On Friday, a technical committee headed by Dr H C Sharath Chandra, former chairperson, Karnataka State Pollution Control Board, visited Mandur to evaluate the environmental degradation caused by the landfill, and plan restoration measures. The BBMP has asked the landfill operator, Gayathri Srinivas Resource Recovery Limited, to restore the area. The firm has been warned that the Palike will impose a hefty penalty in the event of non-compliance.

The BBMP has invited a Pune-based firm for biomining Mavallipura landfill. Goel expressed confidence that the firm would accept the proposal failing which the Palike will buy some equipment and take up the task.

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