This is not fiction: BBMP has lost 100 garbage compactors, each with 10 tonne capacity
Even as the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike reels under severe criticism from different quarters - the Karnataka High Court recently flayed it for not carrying out solid waste management procedures at the ward level, and pourakarmikas have not been paid for months on end- another mystery has come to light.
More than two weeks after it was first reported in the media, 100 six-wheeled garbage compactor trucks, each having a capacity of 10 tonne each, for which the BBMP is billed, continue to be “missing”.
The scam came to light when it was proposed that these vehicles be radio tagged with sensors to keep a check on them.
Bengaluru Mayor Sampath Raj told TNM, “In the council meeting on Wednesday, we will ask for a clarification from the Joint Commissioner. And after that, we will definitely take action against the contractors.”
Despite multiple attempts, Joint Commissioner (Health and Solid Waste Management), Sarfaraz Khan, could not be reached for a comment.
Speaking to Bangalore Mirror on May 14, Khan had said, “We have no idea where these 100 compactors have gone. We also do not know whether they ever went on garbage collection drives and dumping rounds every day. I have asked the officials from the department to look for these 100 compactors and compile a list with their registration numbers. I have put on hold the payments to contractors until the compactors are physically found.”
On an average, Rs 1.5 lakh of public money is spent per month on these 100 trucks even though they don’t work.
The incident has also led the Sarfaraz Khan to install GPS devices to track all vehicles related to waste management in the city to prevent further scams.
Kathyayini Chamaraj of Citizen Voluntary Initiative for the City (CIVIC), an activist advocating ward-level waste segregation and management, said, “On Monday too in the court, he admitted 100 compactors were missing. Sarfaraz Khan said it needs to be investigated as they are missing.”
The bench comprising of Justice BS Patil and BV Nagarathna is hearing a batch of petitions filed by CIVIC and others regarding BBMP’s failure to hold ward committee meetings to chalk out feasible ward-wise waste management measures.
Sarfaraz Khan, on Monday, was asked by the Karnataka HC to install more 2000 liter bins by the next date of hearing in different commercial areas after identifying the same.
In addition, he was told by the court that action has to be initiated to ensure the bins, which are already installed, be cleaned out periodically and efficiently without allowing the garbage to spill over.
The court also ordered that the BBMP update them on the action plan initiated with regard to the same on the next date of hearing.