Garbage in the city might be a persistent concern for most Bengalureans, but as two protests on Saturday showed, few neighbourhoods are ready to accommodate waste management plants in their vicinity.
Residents of Kudlu, HSR Layout, Hosapalya, Somsundarpalya and Parangipalya (KHHSP) petitioned the BBMP to shut down a 40-year-old waste treatment plant in their neighbourhood. On the same day, residents of Peenya Platinum City spilled out onto the roads in protest against a newly installed waste incineration machine in their neighbourhood.
Citing their "Right to breathe",residentsof KHHSP handed over a petition to the state government, the BBMP and the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), saying that Karnataka Compost Development Corporation (KCDC) in their neighbourhood had made their lives miserable. With people suffering from a number of health issues including skin and breathing problems, the residents have been demanding that the plant be closed down for many years, but their pleas seem to have fallen on deaf ears.
Earlier in 2016, thousands of students belonging to a number of schools in the neighbourhood had even sent postcards to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, requesting the government to take action against the plant.
Meanwhile, across the city in Peenya, residents of Platinum City came out on to the street, protesting against a waste treatment machine that was recently installed in the neighbourhood.
The incinerator was installed by TeslaEnergy Private Limited (TEPL) following directions from BBMP.
Soon after its inauguration on Saturday, the incinerator came under fire from residents for being installed opposite a children's park. The residents alleged that the incinerator had been installed without proper certification and argued that it created safety hazards for children, who often played in the park.
“We have asked the company to produce a pollution board certificate before they run the machine and we have been assured that the company holds a patent from the US showing that it is safe and noxious gases will not be a by-product. If they can validate this, we can agree to let the machine function at the designated spot. We also request fencing around the machine, as it is very close to where children play,” Abhishek Sharma, secretary, Platinum City Residents’ Welfare Forum toldThe Hindu.
After the residents alleged that a trial run of the machine a few days ago had emitted smoke, representatives of the company assured them that the company would apply for certification from the pollution control board soon.