Petty politics has been a big contributor to the garbage mess in the city. Many attribute the lack of cooperation between BBMP Mayor D Venkatesh Murthy and district-in-charge minister R Ashok as the main reason for the stalemate on this issue which has been figuring periodically in court proceedings.
Observers said Murthy and Ashok could not see eye to eye since the latter is considered to be a staunch follower of deputy chief minister K Eshwarappa. “Ashok used to visit the BBMP Head Office whenever there was a crisis during the mayorship of Nataraj and Sharadamma. But he has seldom visited the BBMP Head Office for the last few months,” pointed out a corporator on condition of anonymity.
Ministers are expected to play a key role in planning the development of the districts in their charge. However, R Ashok, who holds the home and transport portfolios, appears apathetic. “While the BBMP has been struggling to find a solution for the garbage issue, minister for law Suresh Kumar, minister for home R Ashoka and minister for health Aravind Limbavali have not bothered to offer any solution,” pointed out T Thimme Gowda, JD(S) leader in the BBMP Council.
While Limbavali has been busy promoting the Vajpayee Arogyashree scheme in his constituency, Suresh Kumar is busy issuing rejoinders on allegations made against him in land de-notification.
The other issue is lack of foresight on the growing needs of Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) after it graduated into BBMP with the inclusion of seven city municipal councils, one town municipal council and 111 villages. Mayors, commissioners and corporators merely depended on the existing land fills without planning any alternatives. MK Gunasekhar, opposition leader in the BBMP council, feels infighting among ministers is the main cause of the garbage problem. “The residents are at the receiving end due to the lack of cooperation among the ministers. The BBMP administration has come to a standstill due to it. As per Municipal Solid Waste Management Rules, 2000, the secretary of Urban Development and Karnataka State Pollution Control Board are also responsible for the garbage management,” said Gunasekhar.
Coming down heavily on 28 MLAs of different political parties for not taking any initiative to solve the garbage problems in the city, Munirathna Naidu, corporator from Yeshwanthpur, said that not even a single MLA was bothered about the garbage issue. “These MLAs want to grab the grants from the BBMP. They are not cooperating with the corporators,” he said.