Garbage trucks from Kerala dumping waste in Karnataka is a long-standing problem. On Wednesday, the police in Mysuru arrested two men from the neighbouring state for trying to dump two tonnes of hazardous bio medical waste in an empty site in Nanjangud.
At around 3.30 am on Wednesday, two trucks bearing Kerala number plates crossed the check point at Mysuru districtâ€™s Nanjangud. The police, who were warned of garbage trucks coming in from Kerala, followed the truck from the check point. The truck stopped at the Adakanahalli Industrial Area and two men were allegedly trying to unload the bio-medical waste onto an empty plot of land, when they were caught red-handed.
The Nanjangud Rural Police immediately arrested two men Afzal Muneer and Syed Mohammed, both residents of Keralaâ€™s Kozhikode. However, the truck driver Kabir and two other accomplices Shoaib and Muneer escaped.
Speaking to TNM, Mysuru SP Ryshyanth said that the Nanjangud Rural Police booked the five men under section 269 (Negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) of the IPC. They have also been booked under the Motor Vehicles Act for illegal transportation of waste. SP Ryshyanth said that the residents had complained of incessant dumping of garbage and biomedical waste in the area, after which the check point was set up. The police are now trying to track down the other three accused.
Nanjangud Rural Police said that the same group of five men had allegedly dumped bio medical waste in empty plots in the industrial area around 8 to 10 times in the past.
â€śFor so many years, people of Mysuru have been facing this problem where garbage from Kerala is being dumped in several of our taluks including Nanjangud, T Narasipura and HD Kote. Initially they used to dump mixed waste and plastic waste. Now they are dumping hazardous bio medical waste, which can cause major health problems for people living here,â€ť a police official with the Nanjangud Rural Police said.
The two truck loads of bio medical waste has been handed over to the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board, which will send the waste to an empanelled bio-medical waste disposal facility, where it will be processed.
In January last year, the Mysuru City Corporation demanded that the police set up check point to stop Keralaâ€™s waste from entering the state. Police check points were set up last year after several protests erupted in Mysuru over the issue. The Mysuru City Corporation and residents complained that the pits were dug up in jaggery manufacturing units in Mysuru and Mandya districts, which were being used to illegally dump the garbage being brought in from Kerala, thereby turning these spaces into landfills.
The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board had also conducted raids on these jaggery manufactures and found that the units were accepting money in return for dumping the garbage in their plots.
Bio medical waste generated in Kerala has also been dumped in Tamil Nadu several times. TN authorities allege that for four years now, cutting edge hospitals in Kerala have been disposing their medical waste in an irresponsible manner in many areas in TN. On paper, these hospitals sell the waste to agents or brokers who promise to arrange for the disposal of the bio-hazardous material.
Coimbatore and Tirunelveli are the most affected in this waste war, as they border the neighbouring state, allowing for easy and quick access. In Tirunelveli, tonnes of waste was being dumped in rural areas near Valliyoor and other parts of the district. The police and revenue department officials were ordered to be on vigil.