Trash woes: Ex- minister to launch indefinite hunger from strike today

Trash woes: Ex- minister to launch indefinite hunger from strike today

Former MLA and ex-minister S A Ramdas is launching an indefinite fast, on Thursday, to protest against the indiscriminate dumping of garbage in the Sewage Farm, in Vidyaranyapuram, where 160 tonne of waste can be processed.

MLA M K Somasekhar, however, says he needs just two months to solve the problem and hence there is no need for a protest.

Ramdas said, Mysuru city, which topped the national list of clean cities twice, slipped to the fifth place this year due to the negligence of the authorities concerned. "The site of the solid waste management plant, called the Sewage Farm now, was originally 382 acres of land granted by the then maharajas to grow grass for the cattle owned by the resident of the city, for the cattle sheltered in the Pinjarapole, and for herbivorous animals in Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens. Vidyaranyapuram that abuts the Sewage Farm was formed 70 years ago. The adjoining JP Nagar was formed 40 years ago. At present, the plant at the Sewage Farm can process 160 tonne of solid waste per day. However, the daily generation of the garbage in the city is around 450 tonne. The excess garbage accumulated at the landfill is estimated at 14 lakh tonne," he said.

"The accumulated garbage emanates foul smell and may also spread various diseases. When the BJP government was in power in the state, Rs 29 crore was spent to tackle the garbage challenge alone. Nine solid waste management units were established in various zones of the Mysuru City Corporation for decentralising the process. Necessary vehicles were procured for the MCC. Then, a cap was placed on receiving of garbage at the Sewage Farm at 160 tonne per day in view of the health concerns of the people of the areas around. Some seven lakh tonne of the garbage was used to fill the land for developing it as a park. Now, eight out of the nine decentralised centres have stopped functioning. Animal waste, biomedical waste and chemical waste, which have to be separately processed, are mixed with the garbage and dumped into the Sewage Farm illegally," he said.

Ramdas said, he will complain to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and also the National Human Rights Commission to initiate action against the authorities concerned for spreading pollution and affecting the health of the residents.

Meanwhile, MLA M K Somasekhar said, he has made all arrangements to solve the garbage problem and has got government orders for various works. He contradicted Ramdas by saying that 200 tonne of garbage can be processed in the Sewage Farm unit. "The works to make all the nine zonal units functional has started. So, flow of around 50 tonne of garbage will be reduced to the Sewage Farm unit. A unit to process 200 tonne of garbage at Kesare and 150 tonne at Rayanakere are coming up. Steps are taken to bury animal waste. Dry waste sheds have been set up in 47 locations to localise the process," he said.

He said, plans are afoot to seek a permanent solution to the garbage problem by setting up power generation units that use waste. "At least 60% of the garbage is dry. So, it will be burnt to produce power. The remaining 40% wet waste will be used to manufacture manure," he said.

Somasekhar said, while in power Ramdas did not do anything to solve the problem. "Now, because he has learnt that the problems will be solved, he is trying to take credit for it. I am even ready for a open debate with Ramdas, on the same platform, to discuss about my contributions to solve the problem," he said.

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