Residents from Chikkanamangala in Bengaluru’s Electronic City area protested Wednesday demanding the closure of a waste processing plant over the stench and leachate emanating from it.
Pranay Dubey, president of E-City Rising (a federation of resident welfare associations), said, “Heavy pollution from this plant since 2018 has made this area uninhabitable, causing severe air, water and soil pollution. A foul smell spreads in the 3-4km radius. Leachate flows out and contaminates water in nearby lakes and ponds. Residents and cattles are falling sick due to polluted air and contaminated water.”
Residents have taken up the issue with the civic agency, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).
Dubey added, “The BBMP is least concerned. Their officials say where would the waste go if the plant is shut. The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) is just a mute spectator and has not taken any concrete steps despite several complaints.”
BBMP officials say the plant handles close to 250 tonnes of wet waste every day against a capacity of 300 tonnes. The wet waste is collected from 44 wards of the municipal corporation.
The KSPCB last year brought to the notice of the BBMP the facts that the plant’s processing capacity was inadequate and that leachate was being discharged outside without adequate treatment. The board also said the BBMP had not taken any action though several notices had been sent to it.
Justice Subhash B Adi, chairperson of the National Green Tribunal’s state-level committee, visited the plant on June 30, 2019, and directed the BBMP to treat leachate and have cement factories accept the refuse-derived fuel (RDF) produced in the plant.
“The compost produced was too less in comparison to waste received. It was observed that the leachate treatment was not carried out. The waste received was mixed waste,” the NGT observed during its inspection.
A BBMP official (south zone) said, “Chemicals have been sprayed to contain the stench. A leachate treatment plant will also be completed in six months.There will not be any complaints of leachate leaking into the lakes. The plant cannot be closed.”