Bengaluru’s rotten plan to dump city’s garbage in Kolar Gold Fields has residents up in arms

Their bizarre plan also includes a goods train, and a good-on-paper proposal that, if feasible, will take years to implement.
Bengaluru’s rotten plan to dump city’s garbage in Kolar Gold Fields has residents up in arms
Bengaluru’s rotten plan to dump city’s garbage in Kolar Gold Fields has residents up in arms
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Bengaluru’s landfills have reached their levels of saturation, but instead of finding a way to deal with the garbage, the city’s planners are now planning to export the rubbish to other districts of Karnataka.

BBMP has suggested that a goods train be used to transport the waste to Marikuppam near Kolar Gold Fields (KGF), Madhugiri and Tumakuru, where they plan to set up various ‘garbage management plants.’

A thousand acres of government-owned lands have been identified by the Karnataka Compost Development Corporation (KCDC) for the project where the waste parks will be established.

“The plot’s perimeter will house green cover to check the odour which may emanate from the plant to disturb the people. The goods train will arrive at the plant and dump the waste. This will be converted into energy, biogas and compost,” said Kenchegowda, KCDC chairman.

He added: “The electrical energy and biogas will be supplied to households in the villages surrounding the plant and the compost will be distributed amongst farmers.”

Bengaluru’s decision has led to protests by residents of KGF and opposition parties. An NGO, Samudhaya KGF and local BJP leaders say that their opinions were not sought while the plan was being formulated.

“People are already suffering from cyanide contamination due to the mining activity in the region. In addition, the BBMP now wants to dump Bengaluru’s waste here and cause more problems. Around 1,300 people have died due to various diseases last year,” said Janardhana, Secretary of Samudhaya KGF.

The BJP leaders threatened to conduct a protest on Thursday or Friday if the state government did not drop the plan.

“We urge the state government and the BBMP to take back the decision. The goods trains come into the region through Bangarapete. We will conduct a rail roko there. If we have to, we will dump KGF’s garbage in front of Vidhana Soudha. If there is no immediate action, there will be a major agitation in KGF,” threatened Kamal, BJP Vice President.

In April 2016, the BBMP had proposed to divert the city’s waste to KGF, which had faced resistance from residents of Madhugiri and KGF as well, said Janardhana.

The Mavallipura landfill, which had inconvenienced many residents in surrounding areas, had also been the cause for health hazards.

A 15-year-old boy, Akshay Kumar, who was a resident of Mavallipura, died on July 23, 2010, due to dengue. At the time, the boy’s parents had alleged that the area was filled with mosquitoes due to the garbage piled up in the landfill.

In fact, residents in the area allege that four people had died in 2012 in Mavallipura due to the contamination caused by the landfill.

“Media reports had earlier suggested that when garbage was being dumped at the Mavallipura landfill, people had to be surrounded by mosquito nets even while eating due to the fear of being infected with malaria or dengue. We do not want KGF to become the same way,” the secretary said.

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