Activist Kathyayini Chamaraj says, “BBMP remains reluctant in solving the garbage problem and holding ward committee meetings.”

Does BBMP even care about setting up waste processing units in Bengaluru Seems notPTI/ file
news Civic Issues Thursday, April 05, 2018 - 11:28

Despite being rapped by the Karnataka High Court, the BBMP continues to be lackadaisical in its approach to rectify its waste management measures.

In an embarrassment for the civic body, the Karnataka High Court on Tuesday cautioned that the current scenario of landfills in Bengaluru may create another tragedy like the one that happened in Bhopal. The High Court was hearing a case pertaining to the city’s garbage problems. The court observed that in case of a fire in a landfill (similar to the one that occurred in Bellandur lake), there would be a major catastrophe due to the emanating gases.

The court directed the BBMP to ensure that the seven solid waste processing plants are fully operational. After setting them up 18 months ago at a cost of Rs 350 crore, they are defunct now.

Kathyayini Chamaraj, an activist who conducts workshops on tackling the garbage problem, said, “It is only for the fear of the court’s orders that there is some participation. BBMP remains reluctant in solving the garbage problem and holding ward committee meetings.”

 “We have conducted three sessions so far across BBMP zones, but attendance was very low. At the most 20% of the nominated members of the ward committees attended the workshops. On rare occasions, the corporators came,” she said.

 She added, “Currently, most nominated members are friends/families of the corporator. Just like the corporators they are also not interested. Even when the members are interested, the ward engineers do not inform on time.”

 Read: Nepotism in Bengaluru ward committees? Citizens demand Lokayukta action against officials

 Residents of HSR Layout also took exception to Sarfaraz Khan, the BBMP’s Joint Commissioner for Health & Solid Waste Management, claiming that residents were politically aligned when the issue of the KCDC composting plant came up.

 Read: ‘Stench at unbearable levels’: B’luru residents distressed with KCDC composting plant

 BBMP ward engineers are the convenors of these committees.

Recently, multiple BBMP corporators, including the Mayor, ward engineers and the Commissioner, were fined by the HC for not drawing out areas within wards to set up waste processing plants through these meetings.

Read: Bureaucratic apathy: BBMP workers left unpaid for months in B’luru

Kathyayini, along with other civic activists, has been conducting ward committee workshops in all the BBMP zones in consultation with the BBMP Commissioner to discuss best practices across the country and the world to tackle the waste management problem.

 Coming down heavily on the BBMP, a division bench comprising Justice BS Patil and Justice BV Nagarathna said that all concerned officials would be held responsible if the orders were not carried out.

The next hearing is on Friday.

 

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