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Residents choke in smoke as fire breaks out at Terra Firma landfill

Last Updated : 27 April 2016, 20:26 IST
Last Updated : 27 April 2016, 20:26 IST

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A major fire broke out at one of the garbage mounds of Terra firma landfill in Doddaballapur taluk of Bengaluru Rural district on Wednesday afternoon. The fire threatens to spread to the other mounds in the vicinity.

Terra firma is the landfill on Doddaballapur Road where the waste generated from Bengaluru is dumped in hundreds of tonnes every  day. Since March 31, dumping has been suspended following the state government's directions in view of the protest by the people living there.  Spread over about 10 acres, the landfill has mounds of mixed waste comprising plastic and other hazardous materials.

Dangerous gases emanating from the burning mound jeopardises the lives of people in the nearby villages, especially those suffering from asthma and lung diseases. At risk are people in Gundalahalli, Doddamankalala, Tanneeranahalli, Kadu Tipturu and 10 other villages surrounding the landfill.

Senior BBMP officials have rushed to the spot from Bengaluru, while the fire brigade - in coordination with the local police and Bengaluru rural district officials - is trying to douse the fire.

BBMP Commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad said, “We are coordinating with the local police and the deputy commissioner of Bengaluru Rural district to handle the situation.”

He said the police will investigate the incident and ascertain the role of mischievous elements, if any.

Adverse effect

The fire may have an adverse effect on garbage disposal in the city. Although dumping has been stopped at Terra firma, another garbage processing unit of a private firm is operational.

The incident might trigger a protest against it. Already, there is resentment against two waste-processing units at Seegehalli and Kannahalli on the outskirts of the city (on Magadi Road), where month-long protests had stopped dumping of waste.

Earlier also, a fire mishap had taken place at Terra firma. Four police complaints  were lodged against the managers of the landfill, over poor waste management, said sources.

A senior BBMP official said the BBMP had stopped sending waste there, but the landfill operators are receiving waste from private institutions for processing.
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Published 27 April 2016, 20:25 IST

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