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HC to Monitor City’s Garbage Situation on a Weekly Basis

 Deccan Herald, Bangalore, 19th June 2014

What interest has the Chief Minister shown in the past one year on the garbage crisis? He has blamed the previous government in the city for the problem, but what has he done to solve it? asked the High Court Special Bench constituted to hear a bunch of public interest litigations seeking directions to solve the garbage problem in the city. A member of Hasiru Dala, an NGO, submitted that they were creating awareness about segregating waste and were collecting waste from the public. She said some people are segregating waste but the trucks collecting the waste put everything into the same bins. The garbage problem cannot be solved unless this changes, she said. She also said the contractors previously handling waste were preventing NGOs from collecting it. She said some had even manhandled them and damaged their vehicles. She claimed they were backed by local leaders and MLAs.

 

The special division bench comprising Justice N Kumar and Justice B V Nagarathna said, “No constituency is the ancestral property of any MLA. If action is to be taken against these MLAs or official, we will do that. Don’t allow rowdy elements to run this country. MLAs must be shown their place. If a disease spreads, will the MLA stop it? Call him here. We will show him what the law is.” Commenting on the Chief Minister’s recent meeting with officials, the bench said, “Now that the Chief Minister has woken up it is good.” BBMP Commissioner M Lakshminarayana submitted that they have complied with the directions of the court and constituted dry waste collection centres in 146 wards, out of which 120 are functional. In another two to three months everything will be functional, he said. Justice Kumar observed that steps have to be taken to start bio-mining of accumulated garbage.

 

The commissioner has submitted that the BBMP will issue tenders for bio-miming on Thursday, he said and hoped they will be able to get a list of names to whom the work can be awarded by next Wednesday. Justice Kumar said, “Corporation officials are not performing their duties. As the garbage problem is threatening to go out of hand we would like to monitor it on a weekly basis. Dumping garbage outside the city is not a solution.” Justice Kumar further said, “We don’t understand what is the problem in starting processing plants. Is money a problem? If locals are not cooperating don’t pick waste from them. Don’t dump one area’s waste in another.

 

You (BBMP) are bringing new waste but not clearing the existing waste. So the people are opposing you. Don’t blame them for one’s ineffectiveness.” The bench further directed BBMP Commissioner Lakshminarayana to identify suitable locations for setting up waste processing plants. If anybody interferes with the process of setting up these plants, the Commissioner shall take steps against them in accordance with law, it said. The bench directed the Principal Secretary of Urban Development Department, Member Secretary of Karnataka Pollution Control Board and MD of the Karnataka Compost Development Corporation to be present at the next hearing on June 25. It said it will take up the matter on a weekly basis as it has become an emergency.