'If govt can build canteens, why not compost centres?'

'If govt can build canteens, why not compost centres?'

G Parameshwara, DCM speaking at Cleaning up Bengaluru, Garbage Collection and Disposal, Public Interaction programme organised by Deccan Herald at The Capitol Hotel in Bengaluru on Saturday. Photo by S K Dinesh.

Peeved by the burgeoning garbage mess, Bengalureans on Saturday asked the state government and the BBMP why they were unable to build compost centres in each ward when they could invest crores of rupees to set up Indira Canteens all over the city.

The poser to the government came at a citizen interaction programme — ‘Cleaning Up Bengaluru: Garbage Collection and Disposal’, organised by Deccan Herald.

The question popped up soon after Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara said the government was ready to give to Bengalureans Rs 1,200 crore earmarked for solid waste management (SWM) provided people join hands with BBMP to keep the city clean.

“We are spending Rs 1,200 crore to clean our city, which is going to the pockets of garbage mafia. We are ready to give it to each household provided people stop littering and involve themselves in garbage segregation and composting,” he said.

Parameshwara, who is also the Bengaluru development minister, explained: “A few in the city were controlling the mafia and they are grabbing the money. Without the cooperation of citizens, we cannot make this a Garden City,” he said.

Responding to the citizens’ demand for a compost centre in each ward, BBMP commissioner N Manjunath Prasad chose to put the responsibility on the people. “The civic body is ready to set up compost centres. Let people identify the spots. Whenever we take such initiative, the resistance comes from people only,” he stated. Highlighting the challenges faced by the BBMP while handing the solid waste in the city, Prasad said, “Unless people stop littering on roads, we cannot solve the issue. Even if we deploy two lakh pourakarmikas in the city, they won’t be able to clean the city.”

Prasad also said that the civic body has charted out a plan to help residents not to throw garbage on roads or litter the streets soon after the pourakarmikas collect garbage and go.

“We have processed tenders to set up transfer stations across 100 wards in the city. Fifty transfer stations will be set up — one for every two wards and this is a move to help residents not to throw garbage on the streets.