Villagers protest against pollution of Mavalli lake

They allege garbage unit is dumping toxic waste

They were angry over the official inaction over the problem of high toxic material seeping into the Mavalli lake. It is said that the villagers were left with no potable water for the past 36 hours.

The Mavalli dumping yard is one of the largest garbage disposal areas outside Bangalore. Nearly 50 percent of the city’s garbage is dumped there. According to the protesters, last week, two tanks that hold the Leachates (high toxic solid waste) were destroyed by Ramky facility. As a result the waste was being dumped into a small well that has seeped into the lake.

Due to this, the water from the Mavahalli lake used for drinking purposes has been polluted. “We have been appealing to the BBMP to shift the Ramky treatment and garbage dumping facilities from the area but no concrete action was taken by the officials,” said Srinivas, a Dalit Sangharsh Samiti leader.

According to Srinivas and the Environment Support Group (ESG) representatives, the village has been plagued by this problem for the past six years. People have been suffering from Chikungunya and other skin related diseases as no medical assistance has been provided to the 600-odd families living in the surrounding areas of the dumping yard.

On Monday last, the BBMP officers went to the villagers and held a discussion along with Ramky officials. But only empty promises were given, claim villagers.

Three days later, on Wednesday, when the Deputy Health Commissioner, Venkateshappa met the parties, the frustrated villagers locked up the authorities in a room at the Ramky Facility threatening them to let go only after the BBMP Special Commissioner paid them a visit and assured them of action. Things got out of hand and the police rushed to the spot and pacified the protestors.

The presence of the Special Commissioner calmed things down and the BBMP sought two more days for taking a concrete decision. “We have sought for some more time from the villagers to resolve the issue. A meeting will be held with the BBMP Commissioner on Thursday,” said BBMP, Special Commissioner, Mahaeshwara Rao.

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