'Fall sick often, can't study,' B'luru students ask CM to shut waste processing plant

The students ask CM to fulfill a promise he made a year ago- shut down the 41-year-old waste processing plant.
'Fall sick often, can't study,' B'luru students ask CM to shut waste processing plant
'Fall sick often, can't study,' B'luru students ask CM to shut waste processing plant
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Hundreds of school students in Bengaluru participated in a postcard campaign to remind state Chief Minister Siddharamaiah of his promise made over a year ago to shut down the waste processing plant at Kudlu.

Students from as many as seven private schools located near the Karnataka Compost Development Corporation (KCDC) have written to the Chief Minister, asking that the said plant be closed down on a permanent basis. 

The postcard campaign is the latest in the series of efforts by the Kudlu - Haralukunte - Hosapalya - Somasundarapalya - Parangipalya (KHHSP) Residents Welfare Association that has been actively involved in organising protests in this regard.

K Induja –a class 8 student of New Mother Teresa English School- writes: 

"Because of KCDC, bad smell is coming towards us and omethane gas also come towards it is poison to our surrounding people. Sometimes because of this, we are suffering from fever please take immediate action." (sic)

While some postcards like that of Induja elaborately list out the inconveniences caused by the plant, others like Prasanna prefer to keep it to the point: "Objective - Shut down KCDC plant." (sic)

Speaking to The News Minute, residents of the nearby areas talk about the hazardous levels of pollution and the unbearable stench from the plant that has made life unbearable for them.

Anis Padela -a principal campaigner of KHHSP- insists that the campaign aims at nothing less than the closure of the plant, as the plant that was set up in 1975 has already contaminated the ground-water in the area, with the stench felt as far as the Electronic City. 

"Following protests by residents in 2008, the plant remained shut till 2013. It was however re-opened after clearance from the Solid Waste Management Expert Committee. The plant has already crossed its lifespan. It is almost four decades since it began functioning. The plant has a license to process waste, not kill people," he says. 

According to him, the campaign targets three entities, namely the KCDC, BBMP and the Solid Waste Management Expert Committee. He believes that the authorities are still in a denial mode about the extent of pollution:

"When the plant was constructed in 1975, this was not a residential area. But now it is. Houses share a wall with the plant now. And it is the BBMP’s responsibility to shut down the plant, now that the area has developed into a residential locality.”

Rema Nandakumar -principal of the Mount Litera Zee School- terms the postcard campaign a welcome move. Established in 2009, the school is situated right opposite the plant.

Rema observes that the plant which has a capacity to process 100 tonnes of solid waste a day, gets an extra 80-odd tonnes of waste dumped in its compound, adding to the stench. 

The BBMP Commissioner Manjunath Prasad told The News Minute that the civic body is committed to addressing the issue. “Bio-filters are in the process of being set up in the plant. This will provide respite to the foul smell,” he assures.

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