Stiff resistance by the residents of Mandur against dumping garbage in the landfill there has forced more than 100 trucks to be stationed near the Hoskote Circle. On Tuesday too, there was no sign of the villagers relenting.
The villagers’ protest had started Sunday, following which many were detained at the Avalahalli police station. They were released after Health and Family Welfare Minister Aravind Limbavali allegedly had an heated argument with the police officials.
While the police claimed that the minister behaved in a coarse manner, the villagers said that the minister was just trying to help them and did not ransack the police station as reported.
On Sunday, more than 100 villagers had gathered in front of Avalahalli police station demanding the letter which they were supposed to get from BBMP officials regarding complete clearance of garbage from the landfill from January 29, 2013.
One of the residents, on condition of anonymity, told Deccan Herald: “We were forcefully pushed inside the jail by the police officials and they were rude to us. We were just protesting peacefully and asking for the letter which Limbavali, BBMP commissioner Rajneesh Goel and Mayor Venkatesh Murthy had promised us. There is nothing wrong in this and we will continue to protest in future.”
A few lorry drivers claimed that, during the protest, some of the villagers destroyed their vehicles. Krishna J S, a lorry driver, said: “Around 10 lorries were damaged. For the last two days, we are not being allowed inside the village. Only if the police security is beefed up, we will enter the village.”
D Prakash, Superintendent of Police, Bangalore Rural district, denied that the minister and his supporters had resorted to violence at the police station. “There was only a heated exchange of words between the minister, his supporters and the police inspectors. As of now, there are no cases registered as there was no cognisable offence prima facie.
“I will ask DySP Kumaraswamy to give a detailed report regarding the incident and act accordingly,” he said.
Buffer zone increased
Meanwhile, the Mandur residents got another shock on Tuesday, in the form of a notification from the tahsildar about the increase in the buffer zone around the garbage
The notification, dated November 19, stated that as per government order, survey No 155 measuring 135 acres has been declared a buffer zone. The buffer zone that was earlier limited to just 200 metres from the landfill has now been increased to around 1,000 metres.
Rakesh Gowda, a member of the Mandur Grama Panchayat, said: “For the past four days, inspection was carried out by the tahsildars. We received the notification late Tuesday evening. We will fight against the increased buffer zone.”