BBMP flouted apex court orders, Central rules on waste disposal

BBMP flouted apex court orders, Central rules on waste disposal

For many years, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has been violating various Supreme Court orders as well as rules made by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) with regard to municipal solid waste management (MSW), and this has apparently led to the Mandur crisis.

An order of the Supreme Court on July 28, 1997, (Writ Petition No 888/96) states: “Organic garbage should be collected and transported separately from debris or construction and demolition wastes.

Garbage collected at present should not be thrown in pits or deep depressions. It needs to be placed on levels or open grounds in long heaps called wind-rows, parallel to each other with working space (in) between for people or machinery to turn and aerate at intervals.

During unloading and placement of garbage in wind-rows, it should be moistened at every six-inch layer or so with any one or more of the following biotreatment starter solutions to trigger aerobic composting process and give it a direction that prevents formation of foul smell and methane gas.”

Almitra H Patel, member of the Supreme Court Committee for Solid Waste Management, told Deccan Herald: “The heart of MSW rules is to minimise the burden on landfill sites and ensure biological processing of landfill. Regrettably, the BBMP is not stabilising wet waste, segregating and collecting dry waste and recycling it especially in case of hazardous waste.”

The former chairman of Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), H C Sharatchandra, said the MSW Rules, 2000, and the MoEF Rules, 2000, were drafted based on the Supreme Court order. The BBMP also throws them to the wind. The rules clearly state that waste should be segregated and it is mandatory to compost organic waste. But the mixed waste is still dumped in large heaps in Mandur and the foul smell emanates, he added.

Former chief secretary and urban development expert A Ravindra, who was also Palike commissioner, said the Supreme Court order also pointed that no foul smell should emanate from the landfill sites and diseases should not spread.

But this rule is also violated. Ideally, landfill sites should not be developed. But this problem persists in all cities and efforts are on since many years to manage garbage, he explained.

Two years ago, the State government made rules for segregating garbage at source, but it has not been implemented yet. The failure is because the administration and municipal bodies are weak, and have financial and administrative problems, he remarked.

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