“Mr Commissioner, the garbage in Bengaluru must be cleaned up by October 31 and how you do it is your problem,” said Karnataka Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, while hearing a case related to storm water drain clean-up.
Justice Maheshwari took Bengaluru’s civic body – the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike – to task and ordered the BBMP Commissioner Manjunath Prasad to put an end to garbage dumped on the city’s roads.
“We will hold you responsible if the city is not clean by October 31, when we are taking up the PIL petitions related to garbage menace. You can’t pinpoint the fault on others,” Justice Maheshwari added.
He also reprimanded the BBMP’s engineers and ordered the Commissioner to hold training sessions for them.
“The BBMP engineers don’t know what task they have to perform and how to perform it. They need to be sent to coaching classes. Should engineers from other departments teach BBMP engineers how to work? This will reduce accountability,” Justice Dinesh Maheshwari added.
The court also directed the Karnataka government to submit the minutes of the meetings of a high-level coordination committee headed by the state’s chief secretary Vijay Bhaskar regarding the issue of potholes.
The court also sought a progress report on the storm water drain remodelling work. Commissioner Manjunath told the court that the new plan to remodel the SWDs was better than the standard procedure of desilting the drains before the monsoon.
Justice Maheshwari also stated that there is a need to investigate the nexus between private builders and BBMP officials regarding the issue of storm water drain encroachments. “The BBMP has failed to address its civic duties,” he added.
The court-appointed commission also submitted its report on the pothole filling drive and expressed dissatisfaction over the BBMP’s works.
The court then asked the BBMP to inform the court commission by November 2 about the areas where it has not yet filled potholes. Earlier, the BBMP had submitted to the court that it had cleared all potholes. The court also asked the BBMP to file a progress report on the work done with regard to SWDs by November 2.
Speaking to TNM, Bengaluru Mayor Gangambike said that the BBMP would concentrate on removing the garbage on the roads first.
“We will carry out a drive to remove all garbage lying on the roads first. We will move on to other works related to dumping near lakes and so on after the roads are cleared. Today (Sunday) is a holiday. A detailed plan will be discussed on Monday and work will begin immediately,” she added.