Protests, appeals to Palike have had no effect
Residents of Lingadheeranahalli, a neighborhood in Banashankari 6th Stage, 4th Block, are troubled by a bad smell emanating from a waste-processing plant.
Saroja G, a shopkeeper, informed The Observer: “The problem has been there for two years. Even after people held strikes and complained several times to the BBMP, the civic body has refused to reach out. We are fed up with this continuous stench, and request the civic body to work on this issue in a swift manner.”
Vinod K, a worker, said: “Nobody knows for how long this issue of stench is going to stay. There is no peace at all. We complained to the BBMP ample number of times, but they are not ready to work on it. Even if they visit the place, there are more fake promises than actual action on the waste-processing plant. Nor does the local MLA realize that the matter is serious. I am worried as to what the future would look like for Lingadheeranahalli.”
Despite knowing the gravity of the problem, the civic body does not want to find an effective solution, he added.
Somashekhara S, a real estate contractor, said the stench has spread across the place. “People have been facing so much trouble through the years that they even held a strike against the BBMP. For how long is this going to go on? Don’t people here have a life of their own…? This must stop.”
A construction worker, Nayakam A, said: “… the stench coming from the plant is unbearable. It is a very difficult situation not just for people living in the area, but also for us since we are the daily-wage workers. If this problem continues, nobody will be able to breathe fresh air. BBMP needs to do something.”
Dr Harish Kumar, BBMP commissioner for solid waste management, said: “As the matter is still ongoing in the Supreme Court, I cannot comment on this. Solutions are being brought over the Lingadheeranahalli issue, but it is going to take some time.”
Chandru K, a worker at the plant, said: “Earlier, the National Green Tribunal had filed a case against the BBMP in the Karnataka High Court, but the case stopped mid way. After some years, the case was brought up. The matter is now being heard by the Supreme Court. …during evenings, the smell increases and causes trouble to people living around. Meetings were held by resident associations with local MLA Somashekhar, but all he gave was promises. It makes me feel bad that people’s concerns are still not being answered. Approximately only 60 tonnes has been cleared; 150 tonnes more is yet to be cleared.”
Another worker at the plant, Mohan, said: “I am aware of people facing problems over this stench, but we workers cannot do anything about it. The officials need to take this up seriously so that the residents can stay in peace.”
Sandeep Anirudhan, an environmentalist, said: “If this… persists for a long time, there can be an increase in cancer (cases). In order to contain the smell, adequate treatment with physical, chemical and biological means could help in reducing the stench. These waste-processing plants cause major environmental havoc. This matter needs to be looked into seriously.”