Residents confront mayor over 'polluter' waste plant

Residents confront mayor over 'polluter' waste plant

Demand closure of the unit which polluted Sompura lake

Residents confront mayor over 'polluter' waste plant

Mayor B N Manjunath Reddy on Wednesday faced the ire of residents of Lingadheeranahalli, south Bengaluru, over the poor upkeep of a waste treatment plant in their locality.

Following complaints about unbearable stench emanating from the plant near Banashankari 6th Stage, Reddy and Congress leader in Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Council, R S Sathyanarayana, visited the place in the afternoon.

Having prior information about his arrival, a large number of residents turned up to narrate their plight. As soon as the mayor’s convoy arrived, people surrounded his car to explain to him the hardship they face. But the mayor went straight to the plant. When he came out, residents besieged him. Women demanded the plant’s closure, saying the BBMP had “failed” to operate it the way it had promised.

“There is no scientific processing happening here. The stench from the lake has made our lives miserable. This plant has become a breeding ground for all kinds of insects and germs. We never had so many flies in our homes,” an elderly woman said.

Other residents echoed similar views. They said that air, water and soil had become polluted ever since the plant opened.

Farmers said the Sompura lake had become poisonous as leachate got mixed with its pristine water. The residents showed the mayor holes in the compound wall of the plant from where leachate was flowing. They accused the BBMP of not taking any responsibility.

The mayor conceded that the contractor had failed to operate the plant properly. He assured the residents that the BBMP would terminate the contract and take over the plant if the contractor failed to operate it as per the guidelines. He said he had directed the contractor to plug the leakage of leachate and pump it into a tanker to transport it to the BWSSB’s sewage treatment plant.

Although Reddy did not visit the Sompura lake, he said he had instructed the plant operators to clean up the lake using chemicals.

He assured the residents that the Palike would ensure regular spraying of pesticides to check the breeding of mosquitoes and flies. He apprised them of the Palike's plans to start a waste-to-energy plant that will light up their area.

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