‘BBMP plotting to push for waste to energy plants?’

It's high time BBMP stopped slacking on commitments, and got on with the task of pushing communities to segregate at source

Bengaluru: I have more than a sneaking suspicion that the reason why BBMP has allowed waste to lie on the streets of Bengaluru has little to do with resistance at landfills, and more to do with pushing forward ‘Waste to Energy’ businesses.

When WTE issues came up before the Karnataka High Court in pending PILs about solid waste management, the Court had warned a WTE proponent from claiming legitimacy for a technology that is held as extremely toxic and polluting. Rather than burn “waste” the Court directed, it is better to segregate it at source, compost organic waste within Wards, recover all recyclable waste, and only use landfills for refuse. The Court also held that Bengaluru should take pride to be the first city to be without landfills, which have only caused disease, dismay and disaster for local communities.

Now none of the Court’s directions have been followed. Six months ago the reason was that elections were pending. Now BBMP elections have been held and there is already a Mayor in council. Why then is nothing made to work? Why aren't there Ward Committees to allow citizen participation and oversight in waste management? Why is not BBMP insisting homes, businesses and institutions segregate waste, for which orders have already been passed? This is where There is a strong push for centralised waste processing.

Both will need a massive waste retrieval network. Both claim that waste should not be segregated at source, so that the massive volumes to be transported daily (about 4,000 tonnes per day when last verified) will become a perpetual cash machine for truckers (essentially cartels), and most importantly, given the highly lucrative payments to set up WTE, burning waste is so easy. As is well known in Delhi, and other places, none of the so-called state of the art technologies really work. They pollute and cause cancer and all sorts of horrible diseases. If someone claims that WTE projects are clean, they are lying through their teeth.

It's high time BBMP stopped slacking on commitments, and got on with the task of pushing communities to segregate at source. It demands strong commitment to work sternly with people, and get them to deal with their waste. No dumping, be that in street corners or in landfills, or burning, be they when waste piles up on streets or in WTE facilities, must be allowed. Such practices only spread disease, affect communities with chronic and incurable diseases, and is simply bad economics overall. At least for money's sake, if not for public health or environment, I hope the BBMP Mayor and Commissioner get moving.

(The writer is an urban ecologist and founder of Environment Support Group)

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( Source : deccan chronicle )
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