The residents of Bengaluru’s Whitfield have been complaining of a peculiar unpleasant odour that has been emanating in their neighbourhood every night for the last 10 days. While many residents have raised the issue with the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the civic authority, there has been no remedy to the situation yet. The residents also took to social media to complain about the apathy shown by local officials to sort the situation. They said even their complaints on the Sahaya App (the complaint redressal platform) were ignored and the BBMP officials just closed the complaint without actually rectifying the situation.
While the stench is acute near Whitefield Forum Value Mall and Thubarahalli area, it partially affects all areas within the 2 km radius.
“Strangely, the smell starts around 11:30 in the night and lingers around until 6:30 in the morning,” said Krishnaraj, a resident who stays in an apartment behind the Forum Value Mall, which is near the Varthur Lake. “Initially, we thought the smell was due to the excess garbage due to the festivities. Then we thought that it may be an issue with the sewage treatment plant in one of the apartments. But later, in our neighbourhood online groups, we found that this is not a very local issue but a pan-Whitfield issue. Some people also said that their copper vessels were getting discoloured, even though they had cleaned them only the previous night,” he said.
“There are many others who have complained about the issue with the BBMP but they are just closing the complaint without really doing anything,” added Krishnaraj.
The complaints of stench came from residents living near the mall and those residing in Thubarahalli and beyond.
Shiv Shankar, a resident who lives near the Varthur Lake, also said that he could also feel the odd smell from his house. He also said the air quality over the last week has also drastically reduced. “However, we can’t really conclude if this smell is the sole reason for this. This is because historically, we see the air quality gradually dropping in mid-October with seasonal change in the wind pattern and the drop in the wind speed,” said Shiv Shankar, who is also the founder of Mapshalli.org, a citizen's initiative to track air quality at a local level using low-cost digital air quality monitors.
When TNM asked officials about the situation, they feigned ignorance and claimed that they will address the issue. Vishwanath, Chief Engineer, Solid Waste Management of BBMP, said that he is not aware of the issue but there have been no incidents of garbage being set on fire or any fresh frothing in lakes. He said that he will ask local officials to check on the issue.
Whitefield Rising, the neighbourhood citizen collective is collating information on the bad / rotten egg smell. If you live near the lake or were affected by the pungent smell as you passed by, please log the issue. Visit VarthurLake.com and follow the prompts.