Every day nearly 400 tonnes of waste is being dumped at the plant

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has restarted dumping the city’s waste at the MSGP plant in Chigarenahalli. Trucks are rolling in amidst heavy police security disrupting local protests and leaving residents angry.

Heavy rains in November last year led to leachate from the plant polluting water sources in the neighbouring villages triggering protests that blocked garbage trucks for over a month. At the time, the State government had promised an all-party meeting of elected representatives of the area to resolve the deadlock during the recently concluded winter session of the legislature.

However, with no meeting held yet, the civic body has restarted dumping waste.

Every day nearly 400 tonnes of waste is being dumped at the plant. “Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike has misused the police force and vacated all protesters. Prohibitory orders have been clamped in the villages. The government has gone back on its words. We demanded that dumping be completely stopped, which they did not agree to. But they seem to be not ready to listen to our grievances either,” said Siddalingappa, President, Bhaktharahalli Gram Panchayat, in whose limits the plant is.

Sarfaraz Khan, Joint Commissioner, Solid Waste Management, BBMP, refuted allegations that the concerns of the villagers were not addressed. “A check dam and a pond were polluted with leachate from the plant following heavy rains. We have treated the water in the check dam and entirely drained out the water from the pond. We have built a retention wall to prevent leachate polluting water sources again. We have also directed the private firm running the plant to put up a 50,000 Litres Per day capacity leachate treatment plant and have posted a civic official at the plant to ensure it is run as per norms,” he said listing the measures taken.

However, the local villagers are not appeased. “BBMP has always made tall claims, but the situation on the ground has not changed one bit,” Siddalingappa rued. Venkataramanaiah, Congress MLA from Doddaballapur, who raised the issue in the recently concluded legislature session and got an assurance of a meeting chaired by the Chief Minister, said he was shocked at how the government had gone back on its word given on the floor of the assembly.

“If the Chief Minister doesn’t convene a meeting on the issue in the next one week, we will be forced to call a public meeting of all representatives and activists from our taluk and decide on the next course of protests,” he said.

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