Major fire at Terra Firma landfill

Thick smoke engulfs five-km area near Doddaballapur

Major fire at Terra Firma landfill

A major fire broke out on Friday night at the Terra Firma-managed landfill near Doddaballapur in Bengaluru Rural district, where the BBMP dumps huge quantities of garbage collected from the City.

Thick smoke from the huge piles of waste engulfed an area of about five km, said the police and eye-witnesses. Over a dozen fire tenders and 10 ambulances were pressed into service to douse the fire and rescue the residents of Gundlahalli located near the landfill.

Doctors from government hospitals rushed to the spot and attended to the local residents who were indisposed after inhaling the fumes. Later, the affected people from Gundlahalli and surrounding villages were shifted to hospitals.

Till late in the night, efforts were still on to put out the fire and also convince the 50-odd families living in Gundlahalli to vacate the place. However, the residents, who have been fuming over the establishment of the landfill close to their village, refused to leave the place.

Deliberate attempt
“The garbage has been deliberately set on fire to force us permanently out of the village. All these days, we were suffering due to the stench emanating from the landfill. Now, attempts are being made to kill us by setting the trash on fire,” angry residents told the officials who rushed to the spot.

“Water was fetched using tankers to douse the flames. Several truckloads of soil were dumped on the garbage heaps to ensure that the fire does not spread. Tipper lorries that were at work on the National Highway-207 were roped in to bring soil. But, still the fire has not been extinguished,” eye-witnesses told Deccan Herald at the time of going to the press.

Doddaballapur MLA T Venkataramaiah, who was at the spot, said that Bengaluru Rural district in-charge minister has been requested to send additional fire tenders from Bengaluru, Tumakuru and Nelamangala. Bengaluru Rural district Deputy Commissioner Salma K Fahim and Superintendent of Police Ramesh Banoth were at the spot supervising the rescue operations.

Garbage from Bengaluru is being dumped at the Terra Firm landfill since 2007. After the landfill at Mandur was shutdown in December last, the quantity of garbage at dumped the Terra Firm landfill and another unit run by the MSGP at the nearby Chigarenahalli has increased manifold.

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