Palike okays 80 solid waste disposal projects

Contractors held accountable for garbage segregation

After coming under fire from all quarters for hitting the headlines in New York Times for poor garbage clearance in the City, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike Council on Tuesday approved 80 municipal solid waste disposal contracts worth Rs 305 crore.

The Council also gave the nod for purchasing 400 acres of land, off Bagepalli near Chikkaballapur at Rs 6.75 lakh an acre for garbage disposal. It was decided to entrust the responsibility of land acquisition to Bhagirathi Enterprises through a general power of attorney. After verification of records, the resolution to buy land would be forwarded to the State government.

The meeting also decided to hand over the contract pertaining to nine packages to Terra Firma Biotechnologies Private Limited on the ground that there were no other bidders. It was ruled that the awarding of the contract had been exempted under Rule 4 (G) of the Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurement Act. The exemption drew criticism from some Opposition members who alleged foul play.

Under the new contract, the contractors will be duty bound to segregate waste. The Palike also expects the contractors and the pourakarmikas to collect only waste segregated at source. These proposals will be sent to the State government for approval.

Speaking to reporters later, Palike Commissioner Rajneesh Goel said the contracts will come into effect from November 15. Till then, the present contractors will continue to clear garbage in the City.

“This time, we have made very stringent provisions, giving no room for the contractors to deceive us. We will make optimum use of Geo Positioning System,” he said.

High drama

Meanwhile, the women members of the JD(S) staged a dharna at the entrance of the Palike building, holding brooms, to protest against the failure of the Palike in tackling the garbage crisis. They alleged that the ruling BJP had brought a bad name to the City.

The Congress corporators sported black scarves as a mark of protest. The City MLAs, cutting across party lines, flayed the Mayor for his statement that they were not co-operating with the BBMP. Instead, they accused the government of not taking them into confidence and holding a meeting with them.

During the discussion at the meeting, Bommanahalli legislator M Satish Reddy blamed the garbage and land mafia for the present crisis in the City. He said people who purchased land near the landfill for cheap were holding the City to ransom.

Sarvagnanagar MLA K J George lamented the absence of a proper municipal solid waste disposal mechanism in a City that boasts of being a technology hub. He insisted that the State government should provide at least 500 acres of land for the scientific disposal of waste.

Gandhinagar legislator Dinesh Gundu Rao said the garbage mafia was attempting to derail the scientific garbage disposal system. He said the BBMP should make the new garbage contractors accountable for any violation of the contract conditions.

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