Bengaluru: The BBMP is once again in the line of fire for not effectively implementing the ban on solid waste burning. Jhatkaa.org, an organisation that takes up pro-people campaigns in the city, has served the four zonal commissioners of the BBMP with the orders of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to put a blanket ban on garbage burning, as the organisation failed to find any evidence of the civic agency complying with the orders.
Jhatkaa.org started the campaign, “Bangalore is Burning”, in June 2016, to curb the menace. The members displayed photographs of garbage burning to increase awareness among the public and also carried out a signature campaign, urging citizens to pressure the BBMP to take action against the hazardous practice.
BBMP Joint Commissioner, solid waste management, Sarfaraz Khan issued an order in November 2016, stating that penalties will be imposed for irregularities and indiscipline in waste management.
“It is frustrating that despite the ban on open burning of garbage by NGT and the state pollution control board, the practice is so rampant,” said Mr Avijit Michael, Director, Jhatkaa.org.
Though the pollution control board notification bans burning of twigs and dry leaves, it is brazenly violated. In January 2018, Jhatkaa.org took up a surveillance project and found that the contractors engaged by the BBMP continued to burn solid waste in various locations of the city. “We are trying to raise awareness and push for accountability. We have decided to take legal recourse by despatching warning notices to the zonal commissioners. They need to implement the ban effectively,” Mr Michael said. Next, it is planning to file a public interest litigation.