The unending garbage problem in the city forced the high court on Tuesday to direct the state government to identify at least five different sites in different parts of Bangalore for receiving waste forthwith.
The order was issued with regard to a PIL which contended that the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) was not taking effective steps for proper disposal of garbage, resulting in health hazards.
The HC asked the secretary of the Urban Development Department and the managing director of the Karnataka Compost Development Corporation to be present personally in the HC at the next hearing. The case has been adjourned to Nov 20.
The BBMP, whose commissioner Rajneesh Goel was present in the court, submitted an affidavit stating that individual notices had been issued to commercial bulk generators to manage their solid waste within their own premises and send the dry waste to the dry waste collection centers designated by the BBMP, besides transporting inert waste to the designated landfills.
The commissioner told the court that if commercial bulk generators manage their solid waste, which forms 40% of the total waste in Bangalore, then 50% of the garbage menace would be cleared.
The other counsel for the petitioners suggested that an NGO Hasiru Dala had the ability to support the efforts of the BBMP by engaging waste pickers. The court asked the NGO to approach the BBMP to help in this regard.
The division bench then took the state government to task for its inaction. “Everybody has a responsibility. What is the government doing? Are they waiting for a request. The government is not doing anything,” observed the court.
The HC said it was a “matter of concern” that the government had not yet looked into the problem that Bangaloreans are being afflicted by. “It is obvious that more sites are required for receiving waste generated at metropolis,” noted the court.
The division bench then directed the state government to identify “at least five different sites in different directions of Bangalore for receiving waste forthwith”.
The petitioner also informed the court about the problems with regard to the Mavallipura landfill site, which had been “closed down in July 2012 but opened in October 2012 oblivious to the objections of the Indian Air Force which contends that the site is located within 10km of the airbase and is responsible for the occurrence of the bird hits”.
The division bench directed the Karnataka Compost Development Corporation to file a status report within one week over the matter.
When commissioner Goel informed the court that the civic body would come up with a road-map to deal with the solid waste management issue for another 20 years in two months, the bench said it was too long a time. The bench remarked that there were no “roads but only garbage”.
Regarding the petitions questioning the BBMP’s fresh re-tender notification concerning the municipal solid waste management, the counsel for the earlier contractors submitted to the court that at Mandur they were finding it difficult to dump the waste. On Monday, 70 vehicles had been damaged by the protestors at Mandur. Besides the buffer zones has been reduced to 50mts from 1km.
The division bench headed by chief justice Vikramajit Sen observed that “there was a divergent opinion as to whether the residents around Mandur were permitting garbage generation in Bangalore to be dumped at Mandur site”. “We undertake that the residents are objecting to garbage being dumped in Mandur for the reason that the buffer zone which was within the plans has not been adhered to,” observed the court.