Garbage burning continues even after five years of BBMP’s prohibition

Garbage being burnt at ward no. 85 ofWhitefield

Bangalore, Sept 27, 2017: Even after the prohibition of open burning of solid waste by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara  Pailke (BBMP) in 2012, the city has not been able to put a stop to it.

Sanjay Agarwal, a resident at Ward No. 85 of Whitefield said that for the past one year garbage burning has been a problem in his area and even after repeated complaints made to the BBMP, no response has been received from the authorities.

“For the past one and a half months it has been raining and hence they are not being able to burn garbage but, I am sure if the rain stops, things will be back to what they were,” said Sanjay.

M Anand Reddy, BBMP Contractor for Mahadevpura Zone acknowledged the fact that there have been problems of garbage burning at Ward No. 85 but he said, “It has not been there for the past one month and we have cleared the open plots where garbage was burnt as well.”

Sarfaraz Khan, Joint Commissioner of BBMP (Solid Waste Management and Health) said that most of these culprits are rag pickers who collect low-value solid waste and burn them as a means for cutting cost.  However, it’s very difficult to track those who set these fires, he said.

After a petition filed by an NGO, last year that showed cases of garbage burning in the city, the Joint Commissioner issued an order that imposes fines of Rs. 5000 to Rs. 10000 on contractors who are found dumping or burning garbage.
The BBMP tries to get a hold of these culprits, however, many a times, it’s very difficult to pinpoint those who do it since such activities take place at night time, said Sarfaraz Khan.

Anuradha Govind, a resident of Whitefield and a member of Whitefield Rising said that the problem lies in the infrastructure and management of garbage by the BBMP more than anything.

Garbage burning is a problem that is most prevalent at the outskirts of Bangalore city where there is more open space for instance, Mahadevpura, Bellandur, Mysore Road, RR Nagar where such activities take place at night said Malini Parmar, a member of Solid Waste Management Round Table (SWMRT).

Whitefield is known for garbage burning and I am sure it causes health problems for the residents of my ward, said Sanjay.
“The pollution level of is dependent on what kind of garbage is being burnt and if the garbage has plastic then it is high. Inhalation of the fumes can cause anything from cough, could and other respiratory problems to even cancer” said Dr. Priti Shanker, General Physician at Apollo Clinic Indiranagar.

“We know who’s doing it and we are also increasing patrolling along with educating the citizens. We are definitely aware of all the actions that are being taken and wherever there is a violation of law, we are open. There are separate officers who are being trained to look after the Solid Waste Management Report which wasn’t there earlier and I hope all this will bring about a change” said Sarfaraz Khan.

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