Segregate waste at source or lose licence, contractors told

Terra Firma landfill processes less trash than capacity, finds inspection team

Segregate waste at source or lose licence, contractors told

Justice N Kumar of the High Court of Karnataka has warned that the licences of garbage contractors will be cancelled, if they fail to ensure segregation at source.

During their second visit to landfill sites, Justice Kumar and Justice B V Nagarathna, interacted with the local residents. The people poured out their woes to the judges.

Accompanied by BBMP commissioner M Lakshminarayana and Palike members, the authorities first visited the dry waste segregation unit at Kuvempunagar ward, Yelahanka. The residents complained that the contractors were not undertaking garbage segregation in their ward and neighbouring areas effectively. 

“The problems started ever since a new contractor took over in December last year. The pourakarmikas are forced to dump the unsegregated waste at the dry waste centre as there is lack of manpower and equipment. There should be separate vehicles for collecting dry and wet waste,” said Ramakrishna Pillai, a resident of the area. 

Justice Kumar said strict action would be initiated against negligent contractors who do not oversee garbage segregation properly. “Licences will be cancelled if they do not work efficiently,” he said. 

The residents of Mavallipura complained about the health hazards they are facing due to contaminated water and dumping of garbage. Sarojamma said: “The water is polluted and hence, we depend on bottled water. Every day we spend a minimum of Rs 200 on water cans.” 

The judge said that he will issue an order to the BBMP to set up garbage processing units in each Assembly constituency under the Palike limits. He said that this will ensure that processing of waste is completed within the constituency itself and waste does not go to the landfill.

Justice Kumar appreciated the work by Terra Firma Biotechnologies at its 100-acre landfill site. He told the Palike officials that more waste could be processed here. 

“The area is spacious and unlike other landfills, there are not many villages around. More waste can be bought here as there are no objections from the residents,” he noted. However, the staff had a number of complaints. Lakshmamma, who lives nearby, said, “Despite working from 9 am to 5 pm daily, we get a meagre Rs 150 to Rs 200 per day. The Palike must hike the amount.”

“We have more than 20 machines for processing waste, including plastics. The processed plastic is used for building roads and for agriculture purposes. The plant has a capacity to process 1,000 tonnes per day. However, just about 450 tonnes is reaching the site,” said R Ganesh, Managing Director, Terra Firma.

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