SC notice to Karnataka government on plea by BBMP

SC notice to Karnataka government on plea by BBMP against closure of waste management plant

Due to closure of the entire premises, the process is now being carried on public roads, leading to open waste transfer, which is avoidable, the BBMP submitted

Representative Image. Credit: PTI File Photo

The Supreme Court has sought a response from the Karnataka government on a plea filed by BBMP against the High Court's order for closure of a garbage dumping and processing plant at Mahalakshmipuram in Bengaluru.

A bench of Justices Vineet Saran and Aniruddha Bose issued notice to the state government and others on a petition, challenging validity of the High Court's orders passed on February 19, 2020 and March 17, 2021. The top court also sought a response from the state government and others within two weeks for staying the High Court's orders.

The High Court had directed the municipal body to stop the use of the scheduled premises as a bio-methanisation plant and solid waste transit point, for having failed to take consent from the State Pollution Control Board.

A group of residents of the area moved the High Court, saying the plant should be shifted as it was in the vicinity of three schools and a hospital and the area should instead be developed as a playground.

The BBMP Commissioner, led by advocate Sanjay M Nuli, submitted that the High Court has failed to observe the functional difference between the bio-methanisation plant and the solid waste transit point.

"There is no illegality in the use the portion of the premises as a solid waste transit point which required no consent or authorisation under any Act or Rule," the plea said.

With the stoppage of bio-methanisation plant, a portion of the premises being used as a solid waste transit point would not cause any harm or discomfort to the general public as the entire premises is enclosed with a barricaded boundary and surrounded by plantation, it added.

On the contrary, due to closure of the entire premises, the process is now being carried on public roads, leading to open waste transfer, which is avoidable, the BBMP submitted.

It also claimed that the premises was maintained properly with no pile-up of garbage beyond 24 hours.

The High Court's orders not only caused gross inconvenience to the BBMP but also resulted in environmental degradation because the waste, earlier collected within the boundaries of the premises, was being collected on public roads leading to nuisance, littering, and traffic hassles.

Maintaining that using the premises as a transit point is legal and does not violate any rights of any person, the BBMP said it set up the bio-methanisation plant and transit point in compliance with the High Court's order of June 18, 2014, for establishing solid waste processing centres in every Assembly constituency to locally process the waste generated and reduce the transportation cost.

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