Election vital than waste management, officials reject diktat in order to keep city ‘odour free’

Notwithstanding ‘instructions’from the top barring dumping of garbage in five processing plants under Yeshwantpur assembly constituency, officials from BBMP’s solid waste management (SWM) division have decided to continue ferrying waste to these facilities.

The officials received an order against taking garbage to these plants in the wake of the upcoming bypolls in the state. Of the 15 constituencies that will go to polls on December 5, four — KR Puram, Shivajinagar, Mahalakshmi Layout and Yeshwantpur — are in Begnaluru.

“The BJP needs to win all four seats. Hence we were instructed to stop sending waste to these plants, which come under Yeshwantpur assembly constituency,” one official told.

At present, the city’s waste is sent to Bellahalli, north Bengaluru. The city also has eight processing plants with a combined capacity of 2,800 tonne, but handling only about 730 tonnes of waste per day.

Of the five plants, the one at Lingadheeranahalli has been shut based on an NGT order, while Kannahalli (70 tonnes), Seegehalli (75 tonnes), Doddabidrakallu (135 tonnes) and Subbarayanapalya (100 tonnes) process daily waste.

Officials have decided not to follow the diktat and, instead, go ahead with processing waste at these plants in order to keep the city ‘odour free’. “It was shocking to get such instructions. In one of the earlier meetings we were told that the CM wants Bengaluru to be garbage-free. Now, two days ago, we got contradictory instructions,” an SWM officer said on condition of anonymity.

The officer said that if waste is not sent to these plants, it will be difficult for the civic body to handle the garbage generated in Bengaluru. “The city generates about 5,700 tonnes of waste and we cannot allow taxpayers to suffer,” he added.

“Where will we accommodate all the muck,” asked another BBMP official. However, Palike chief BH Anil Kumar neither confirmed nor denied the developments.

Meanwhile, residents from west Bengaluru’s Subbarayanapalya vandalised a waste processing plant in the area on Friday. The plant was temporarily (for about six hours) taken over by more than 80 villagers, who threatened officials at the spot and demanded that no waste be brought there.

They only vacated the place at 4.30pm after BBMP joint commissioner (Mahadevapura zone) Venkatachalapathy visited the spot. “They even set one shed on fire,” an official said, adding fire engines had to be rushed to the spot.

The residents allegedly attacked employees Shivraju, Yuvraju, Ishukumar, Kartik and other security guards.

BBMP’s plant manager and assistant executive engineer Srinidhi filed an FIR against unknown miscreants for damaging public property and causing loss to the exchequer. Sources said the villagers want the plant permanently shut as it’s affecting their health and also devaluing their properties.

According to the FIR, residents entered the plant and vandalised vehicles, the main gate, security room, weighbridge display, CCTVs, windows and power supply cables.

The plant did not function on Saturday and is unlikely to open on Sunday as it needs repair. On Saturday, garbage trucks headed to Subbarayanapalya had to be diverted to the Chikkanagamangla plant near Electronics City. Noticing that more than the usual number of trucks were entering the Chikkanagamangla plant, residents there tried to block the road, but BBMP workers eventually managed to dump the additional garbage there

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