HC orders BBMP to start nine waste processing units soon

HC orders BBMP to start nine waste processing units soon

The Karnataka High Court on Monday directed the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to open garbage processing units at nine places across the City at the earliest. The bench also wanted the BBMP to rope in corporate houses to assist in the upkeep of the City.

Hearing a petition by Kavitha Shankar and others, seeking an end to the garbage menace, a division bench comprising Justices N Kumar and B V Nagarathna issued the directions to Darpan Jain, Special Commissioner, Solid Waste Management, BBMP. Jain submitted that the Government has ordered the BBMP to set up an expert committee to advise on the processing units and assured the court to speed up the process.

The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board submitted that all the proposals before it for setting up processing units have been cleared, except for one at Thippagondanahalli (TG Halli) catchment area and another at Lingadahalli, where a regional officer had objected to granting permission.

The bench, however, observed that there is no proposal to set up a garbage processing unit at TG Halli but said all the nine sites should have the Board’s environmental clearance as submitted by it. “You cannot hold back permission for the processing units. Treat this as a special case. Tell your officer,” the bench directed.

The bench  reminded the BBMP special commissioner that only 90 days were left to close the Mandur landfill, which the nearby residents are demanding citing pollution.

When the petitioners and the KSPCB informed the Court that some residents were opposed to setting up of processing units at the sites identified, fearing a Mandur-like pollution, the bench quipped, “There will be no landfill sites in the City anymore. There will be just processing centres and in future the waste will not move out of the respective wards. It will be treated within the wards.”

The special commissioner said, ahead of closing the Mandur landfill, the government has appointed Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation as nodal agency for establishing processing facilities at nine locations. “With regard to bio mining of old dumped waste, various functional technologies and facilities have been examined. The expert committee too has given its views,” the special commissioner said.

“Based on it a proposal is being prepared to obtain approval of the government and call for tenders,” he added.

The commissioner also said Survey No 45 at Devatige Ramanahalli in Kengeri hobli, owned by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), would be handed over to the BBMP to set up a waste-processing unit there.

When told that this site has been encroached upon and several illegal structures have come up there, the court directed the BBMP and the BDA to clear the encroachment and then take possession of the property.

To the court’s suggestion to talk to some corporate firms and ensure that they contribute to the cleanliness of the City, the special commissioner said that the process is underway.

The bench observed: “The special commissioner submits that he has written to corporate houses requesting them to set up solid waste management centres. Records of companies willing to join hands with BBMP should be placed before this court on the next date of hearing.”

To the petitioners’ request that the names of officials concerned be displayed at the ward offices to enable people to lodge complaints against them, the court directed the BBMP to do so.  

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