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'Polluting' KCDC waste plant quietly reopens, locals furious

Residents who had felt relieved by the decision are now shocked to find that the KCDC has quietly reopened the plant
Last Updated 23 February 2022, 22:07 IST

Weeks after being forced shut for violating the rules, the KCDC waste-processing plant in southern Bengaluru has quietly reopened, angering residents.

Locals say the plant hasn’t taken any corrective measures it was supposed to take. They also say the plant is still causing pollution that had led to its closure in the first place.

Located at Kudlu along Hosur Main Road, the plant is run by the Karnataka Compost Development Corporation. It treats wet waste collected from city households and turns it into compost.

But people living around the plant have long complained about pollution emanating from it and how it has created health hazards for them. A group of residents’ welfare associations filed a writ petition in the high court, demanding that the plant be closed.

Following a court order, the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) inspected the plant on January 12 this year and ordered its closure for not following the standard operating procedure.

Residents who had felt relieved by the decision are now shocked to find that the KCDC has quietly reopened the plant.

Over the last week, the BBMP is learnt to have dispatched to the plant around 120 tonnes of wet waste generated from households in the Bommanahalli assembly constituency.

“We have been denied the right to breathe fresh and clean air. We don’t know what corrective actions were taken that allowed the KCDC plant to reopen. We are being kept in the dark despite being the petitioners in the court case,” said Kamesh Rastogi, who lives close to the plant.

Some residents have now launched social media campaigns seeking the reclosure of the “badly-managed” plant.

BBMP Joint Commissioner (Solid Waste Management) Sarfaraz Khan insisted that the plant was reopened only after all the conditions imposed by the KSPCB were met. He also suggested that the resumption has been slow. “The plant can process 500 tonnes of waste but we are sending only about 120 tonnes on residents’ requests,” he added.

Khan suggested that those protesting against the plant “live in far-off places” and that area residents do not have any problem with it.

KSPCB member secretary Srinivasulu did not answer phone calls seeking comment.

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(Published 23 February 2022, 19:20 IST)

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