SWM plants mismanaged, complain communities in the neighbourhood

Anxious about proposed waste-to-energy plant at Chikkanagamangala

The number of complaints by communities living around the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike’s solid waste management plants is on the rise, but little has been done to address them. Foul odour that permeates through closed windows and doors, the presence of flies and mosquitoes, and the occasional fires in some cases are the more persistent complaints from residents who are demanding that the civic body put in place standard operating procedures (SOPs).

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has waste management plants in Kannahalli, Seegehalli, Chikkanagamangala, Lingadheeranahalli and Doddabidarakallu while the Karnataka Compost Development Corporation (KCDC) plant is in HSR Layout. Communities living in the vicinity have been up in arms against the civic body with a few seeking legal recourse.

Pranay Dubey from Electronics City Rising said residents have staged protests and submitted numerous memoranda about ill-management of the Chikkanagamangala plant. “We were assured each time that odour reducing equipment would be installed. When it rains, the stench gets intense. There have been instances of residents woken up at night by the smell,” he said.

In this backdrop of this, a proposed waste-to-energy plant at Chikkanagamangala is making the community more anxious.

“No waste-to-energy plant has been successful in India. If the plant does come up, it will only cause irreversible environmental damage,” said Mr. Dubey.

Communities in Kudlu, HSR Layout, Hosapalya, Somasundarapalya and Parangipalya can empathise with those living around the Chikkanagamangala plant. They had filed a writ petition in the Karnataka High Court against the KCDC plant at HSR Layout.

Channappa, president of the Kannahalli-Seegehalli Kasa Vilevari Horata Samiti, said that the civic body has only been making empty assurances. “Allottees of the Kempegowda Layout, developed by the BBMP near the twin plants, have been trying to sell their sites. However, there are no takers,” he said.

BBMP officials admit that functioning of the plants is far from ideal.

Subhash B. Adi, who heads the State chapter of the National Green Tribunal, has inspected the plants and met stakeholders.

BBMP Special Commissioner (SWM) D. Randeep said the Technical Guidance Committee had sought a waste analysis from a laboratory with certification from the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration. “An interim report submitted by a waste management expert, who visited the plant, is being examined by the technical guidance committee. After it is submitted, we may either come up with SOPs for all plants or separate SOPs for each plant, depending on the composition of waste,” he said.

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