The BBMP has classified apartments with 50 flats and more as bulk generators of garbage and expects them to manage it on their own. This definition is completely preposterous. If a group of residents living in close vicinity are classified as bulk, then every locality and every citizen of Bengaluru, whether living in an apartment or individual house is a bulk generator.
With the classification of apartment complexes as bulk generators, the BBMP is discriminating against them and doing them grave injustice, although they are the most socially responsible. Here is a comparison between what happens in an apartment complex with 100 flats versus a locality with a 100 independent houses.
It is very clear from the above that BBMP can manage garbage generated by apartments more easily and efficiently than that generated by individual houses. But the civic agency, which collects a solid waste management cess from every citizen along with property tax, expects apartments to dispose of their dry garbage through a private vendor and compost their wet waste. The expenditure involved in the two situations is as follows:
From this it is clear that citizens, who are socially responsible and help manage the city’s waste problem, end up paying almost eight times as much as others who don’t. Are we really living in a fair and equitable society?
Apartment residents are not seeking any special privileges or treatment from the government and civic agencies. All they want is parity and justice. Apartments do not have a problem with managing their own waste, but then the BBMP must waive the SWM cess they are expected to pay and provide a discount on property tax to the tune of Rs. 250 per flat per month for all their residents. This incentivisation model will encourage not just apartments, but a lot of individual houses to also manage their waste themselves.
Rather than treating socially responsible apartment residents as third class citizens, the BBMP will do well to work in partnership to evolve a solution along the above lines, which will greatly help in managing the burgeoning garbage crisis of Bengaluru.