It's dead end at Mandur again

It's dead end at Mandur again

Over 250 garbage trucks were prevented from entering the Mandur landfill Wednesday morning by villagers in protest against BBMP’s failure to clear old garbage pile up and indiscriminate dumping of more garbage.

The villagers, supported by the Gram Panchayat (GP) members, brought in earthmovers to dig trenches on the roads to prevent garbage trucks from entering the village. Over 300 villagers have planned a night vigil at the entrances to the landfill.

“We allowed garbage to be dumped only on the condition that the existing garbage is processed in a month’s time and more garbage would not be dumped. But that has not been done,” Rakesh Gowda, a GP member, said.

Besides the unbearable stench from the landfill site, villagers residing around the landfill suffer from skin allergies. Gowda says the ground water too is contaminated due to the leachate coming out of the dump yard. The villagers plan an indefinite strike, said Thammanna, another GP member.

For the past one week, garbage is not being lifted by the pourakarmikas in many areas of the City. Despite BBMP Commissioner Rajneesh Goel directing zonal officers to give away wet waste to the villagers, the process is yet to start.

Goel, while admitting that there was a problem in transporting garbage, said the problem was resolved by late evening.

Meanwhile, GP members and residents claimed that local MLA Aravind Limbavali had asked them not to stop the agitation till BBMP stops dumping garbage.

However, BBMP officials claimed that Limbavali promised to speak to the locals in this regard. The minister was not available for comments.

‘Things getting messier’

BBMP’s failure to identify new landfills has compounded the garbage crisis, the Congress and JD(S) have said.

T Thimme Gowda, JD(S) floor leader in the Palike Council, told reporters on Wednesday that the infighting in the ruling BJP and differences over new garbage tenders had added to the problem.

“They have identified a single bidder for the garbage contracts, who has quoted 30 per cent below the estimates for 150 wards. What is the guarantee that he will deliver at such low costs? Does he have the required manpower or machinery for such huge contracts?” said Gowda.

He said there was huge mismanagement of BBMP funds every month.

“The BBMP is spending Rs 40 crore on repayment of loans and interest, Rs 25 crore on garbage, Rs 40 crore on salaries and Rs 20 crore on maintenance. The total expenditure is close to Rs 200 crore.

On the revenue front, it was able to generate only Rs 86 crore in August and Rs 53 crore in September. What facilities can BBMP provide to the citizens with the available funds” he asked.

M K Gunashekar (Congress), in a press note, questioned the logic behind levying the solid waste management cess, despite the Palike being unable to provide relief to the citizens from garbage.

He urged the BBMP commissioner to ensure the release of Rs 128 crore from the 13th Finance Commission funds to help the BBMP.

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