CM seeks 6-month time to clear Mandur mess

Residents refuse to budge

CM seeks 6-month time to clear Mandur mess

A meeting between Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and the residents of Mandur to thrash out a solution to the garbage crisis failed on Friday, as most of the villagers walked out in a huff when the government sought six months’ time to stop dumping Bangalore’s waste in the village.

Siddaramaiah, Chief Secretary Kaushik Mukherjee, District In-charge Minister Ramalinga Reddy, Mayor B S Satyanarayana, Bangalore Central MP P C Mohan, MLAs Aravind Limbavali and Byrathi Basavaraj and the leader of Opposition in the BBMP Council, Manjunath Reddy, Mandur panchayat member Chandrashekhar Gowda and about 50 villagers attended the meeting.

The villagers have sought two days’ time to deliberate on the government’s proposal and then hold a second round of meeting. However, they said they would, at the most, give two to three months’ time to the government to resolve the crisis. They also urged the chief minister to give them a written assurance, which he refused to.

People who boycotted the meeting said their hopes were dashed after meeting Siddaramaiah.

Indramma, a villager, said, “We had come here with a lot of hope, but we are disappointed. The chief minister did not even discuss the problems faced by us. Probably, he was not briefed on our plight. He asked us for six months’ time. But we are not ready to take garbage any more. We even asked him for a written assurance, but he did not agree.”

Another villager Prema Murthy said the groundwater in Mandur was so polluted that anyone bathing in the borewell water would fall sick. She said her 8-year-old son looked like a 3-year-old and she had to spend a lot of money on his treatment.

Panchayat member Chandrashekhar Gowda said, “A year ago, we were given a written assurance by the BBMP that from June 1 it would stop sending garbage trucks to the village. But the government is now asking us for six more months. This is not acceptable.” After the meeting, Siddaramaiah told reporters that he sympathised with the Mandur residents who had been suffering because of the landfill in their backyard. He said there were about 35 lakh tonnes to 40 lakh tonnes of waste piled up in the village and every day about 2,000 tonnes of trash were dumped there.

“The government is trying to find a viable solution to the problem... We need at least six months,” he said.

When asked about the written assurance, Siddaramaiah said it was the BBMP’s responsibility to provide it. Later addressing the media, Minister Ramalinga Reddy admitted that no final decision had been taken on whether to stop dumping garbage to the Mandur landfill. However, the chief minister has sought the status of all the four projects in four directions of the City, including locations on Mysore Road, Magadi Road, Doddaballapur and Kanakapura Road, he said.

Siddaramaiah directed the officials to make sure there was no human habitation in and around the places where the garbage processing units would be set up. He also told them to quickly identify the location and speed up the land acquisition process. “We ask for six months’ time, after which not a single truck of garbage will go to the village,” said Reddy.

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