Waste from landfill site falls on house, plantations

Heaps of garbage slid near a house in Pacchanady near Mangaluru.

Garbage that fell from the Mangaluru City Corporation landfill site at Pacchanady in Vamanjoor damaged a house and has robbed seven families of their sources of livelihood.

Leachate had begun flowing from the site since Tuesday morning. By evening, the entire mountain of garbage began sliding towards the adjacent areca plantations.

“We have been suffering because of the garbage for many years. An accidental fire at the site in May this year also affected our health. Many children developed cough and asthma. The authorities were informed, but we got no response. We are left with nothing and have to only beg for a living now,” said farmer Karunakar.

Nagesh and his brothers owned 3.3 acres land. “The entire land is now covered in garbage. All the 1,500 areca trees have been damaged. We cannot cultivate the land with the waste sliding and covering the entire area,” he told DH.

An open well that supplies water round the year and a pump shed with a 3 hp pump set were also covered in garbage. The well was built using black stone 15 years ago at an estimated cost of Rs 2.5 lakh. The residents have no source of water now.

If the rain lashed again and more garbage fell, it will destroy more plantations.

Former Mayor Bhaskar Moily declared the slide a major tragedy. “Even a stormwater drain near the site is choked. I have urged the MCC Commissioner to recompense the farmers at the earliest,” he added.

Experts to give report

Environment engineer Madhu S Manohar told DH, “We had taken up soil capping to extinguish the fire in May. Following heavy rain, however, the soil caps developed cracks and rainwater seeped into the garbage. Due to the force of the water, the garbage began sliding, but a portion of it was stopped at the door of a house.”

The engineer added that at least four excavators had been used to remove the garbage and create a ramp to prevent further sliding of waste. A path will be created to ease the flow of water nearby.

An expert on land-filling visited the spot on Wednesday and is expected to submit a report to the Corporation on preventive measures to be taken in future.

The Pacchanady yard gets 250 to 300 tonnes of waste daily from the MCC wards. After processing, about 50 tonnes reach the landfill site. Garbage from Ullal and Bantwal too is dumped here.

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