Palike failed in waste management: Siddaiah

The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) now has a clear roadmap for garbage management and the search for alternative landfills is only an immediate solution for the crisis, said BBMP Commissioner Siddaiah on Sunday.

However, the Palike is aware that the problem is due to its failure in waste management, he said, speaking at a conference on ‘Solutions to impending public health crisis through good governance in solid waste management’, organised by Namma Bengaluru Foundation in association with city-based NGO Adamya Chetana.

“The greatest challenge before BBMP at present is to find places for disposal of garbage after January 31, the deadline set by villagers to stop dumping garbage in their surroundings,” Siddaiah said.

Segregation at source is another challenge. The government has not been able to identify places for segregation in all areas, he added, seeking people’s co-operation with the Palike in using a corner in public parks for the purpose.

Bulk generators of waste, like hotels, malls and wedding halls, should mandatorily manage the waste at source, he said. “The government is even ready to remove cess if they take up the responsibility,” he said.

The conference brought together stakeholders from the Palike, the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board, NGOs and citizens to devise solutions to the garbage crisis. MP Rajeev Chandrashekar said the crux of the problem lies in lack of planning. The situation must be treated as public health emergency and the Bangalore Metropolitan Governance Bill must be passed immediately, he said.

Almitra Patel, a member of the Supreme Court-appointed committee on solid waste management, stressed the need for a change in approach to waste management.

“Landfills are not the problem here. It is the corruption. I hope the villagers will protest against any such move by the government to dump garbage in their backyard,” she said.  

Proposals to set up plants

The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board chairperson Vaman Acharya said eight private parties have submitted proposals to set up processing plants on their own land.

“Garbage is a resource and when people are coming forward to manage it, the government should not delay in according permission to them,” he said.

He also stressed the importance of roping in farmers. “Wet waste will generate manure, and farmers have also agreed to process the compost themselves, if the government takes the initiative of supplying them segregated waste.”

Acharya said the government should build a network with other stakeholders to effectively manage the crisis.

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