BBMP steps up work on buffer zones before polls

Roads fixed, BBMP to create buffer zones around waste sites before polls
BBMP and KSPCB will work overtime to address city's garbage problem
BBMP official told DH that based on the size of each MSW, buffer zones will be created and saplings planted in four to five rows

In what appears to be an effort ahead of Assembly polls, the state government has decided to speed up the process of creating buffer zones around municipal solid waste (MSW) sites.

With this, it wants to address the city's garbage problem and the stench emanating from the MSW sites.

The government is pushing the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) to work overtime to address the city's garbage problem and enforce the high court's recent orders.

A senior BBMP official told DH that a committee had been formed and its members had also been finalised to manage the MSW and create buffer zones.

A file in his regard was moved for government approval on Wednesday and the inspection of each site is likely to start soon. Based on the size of each MSW, buffer zones will be created and saplings planted in four to five rows, the official added.

On April 6, the high court had directed the KSPCB and the BBMP to ensure that the seven MSW units work to the optimum, a buffer zone is created around each MSW site for managing the stench and the garbage problem is addressed.

"The buffer zones will be created by April-end. And in one month, the planting of saplings will also be completed. Tall saplings of five to six feet will be planted instead of small ones to speed up the process," said a BBMP official seeking anonymity.  "The committee will consist of a senior environmental officer from the KSPCB, the BBMP commissioner, the MSW joint commissioner and health officers from the BBMP."  

Bad roads and garbage problems have caught the attention of voters and candidates. The BBMP has been directed to asphalt and white-top roads. "The road problem has already been addressed in many constituencies. Roads are being white-topped in places like Koramangala, Vijayanagar and Sarvagnanagar. Now, the garbage menace is also being addressed," the BBMP official said.

KPSCB Chairman Lakshman said each site would be inspected, and based on the area, the buffer zone would be decided. According to MSW Rules 2016, buffer zones should be created around each MSW site. But that has not been done.

Though there is a standard size of 50 to 1,000 metres, depending upon the zone, it cannot be implemented on the ground because of space constraints.

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