There is still going to be a goods train to export Bengaluru's garbage, just not to Kolar

The ‘alternate’ plan is pretty much the same plan as before: Take the garbage out of Bengaluru, and make a plant to convert it to manure.
There is still going to be a goods train to export Bengaluru's garbage, just not to Kolar
There is still going to be a goods train to export Bengaluru's garbage, just not to Kolar
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The waste in Bengaluru is growing, and authorities in charge are clutching at straws in their attempt to come up with a solution. The latest idea they’ve come up with is to compost the garbage and sell it. While composting already happens at several plants in Bengaluru, this plan involves finding land elsewhere to first dump and then compost the waste.

Just a few weeks back, there was a proposal to dispose Bengaluru’s waste at KGF and Tumakuru’s Madhugiri, which had angered the residents of these areas, forcing the government to come up with an alternative plan.

And the alternative they’ve come up with is to dump the garbage elsewhere. The Karnataka Compost Development Corporation (KCDC) and the state Agriculture Department are now surveying other areas for land to build compost plants.

According to the Chairman of the KCDC, Kenchegowda, the new plan is to convert the waste into organic manure and sell it to farmers across Karnataka at a subsidised rate of Rs 800 per tonne.

“The project is estimated to cost around Rs 500 crore and we are looking to set up two plants on government land as we want to avoid protests. In KGF (Kolar Gold Fields) and Madhugiri, there were massive protests after we proposed to acquire land from residents,” said Kenchegowda.

“Once the plant is up and running, farmers can place orders at Raitha Samparka Kendras at hobli levels and the manure will be delivered to them,” he added.

While composting is a good solution, the KCDC hasn’t given a timeline for how long the process of setting up a plant will take - or what will happen to the garbage that piles up until then. The lands they’re surveying are outside Bengaluru - and once again, the plan is to export the garbage out of the city using goods trains.

Currently, the KCDC is generating manure by using around 5,500 tonnes of wet waste supplied by BBMP. But many of existing the plants where the composting is being done have run into trouble. The Chairman said that the lack of operational plants inside the city has resulted in the KCDC being unable to convert all the wet waste into manure.

While there are nine compost plants in Bengaluru, only four are currently functional. The plants in Lingateeranahalii, Suggarayana Palya, Chikkanagamangala, Kannalli and Tara Farm in Doddaballapura have stopped operations, whereas the ones at Koodlu, Seegehalli, Doddabidarakallu and MSGP in Doddaballapura are still working.

The Lingateeranahalli plant was shut down following an SC order, and the plant at Tara Farm was closed down after residents in the area protested against it.

“The Tara Farm plant was contracted out to a private company and they had not maintained it properly. The garbage was being dumped  on the roads, which led to severe protests,” Kenchegowda said.

The manure sale will be piloted in Bengaluru Urban, Bengaluru Rural, Kolar, Chikkaballapur and Ramanagaram districts. “If the initiative succeeds, then BBMP and KCDC will increase the production scale,” Kenchegowda said.

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