Vijaya Bhaskar, IAS, Administrator, Kumar Naik, IAS, BBMP Commissioner and Darpan Jain, IAS, Joint Commissioner (SWM), BBMP held an interaction with various civil society organisations in which at least one trade union representative participated.
The purpose of this interaction was BBMP’s keenness to engage NGOs in its city cleaning drive. Commissoner Kumar Naik explained that the last minute invitation that did not reach many was well-intended at inclusivity of all, though the organising was all last minute, which he agreed the next time around would be done right.
Here are the highlights of the meeting:
1) Almost everyone present agreed that a cleanliness drive was meaningless. What should instead be done is to enforce contract conditions on contractors and BBMP Engineers and ensure they cleaned up, else got penalised. BBMP officials agreed that drive would be so executed.
2) BBMP officials agreed that all existing contracts relating to SWM would be put online immediately (within a day or two) and that draft of the new contracts would also be shared online for comments.
3) Officials agreed that there would be a concerted effort to decentralise waste management by engaging those who were enlisted as Ward Committee Members (now dysfunctional due to pending elections) and also Suchi Mitras so that active monitoring of SWM operations in every neighbourhood would be undertaken.
4) Administrator of the BBMP agreed that penalising households, private layouts, apartments and institutions (for not segregating waste or dumping it on roadsides) should be undertaken on a war footing. Penal provisions would be enforced, he said, as in the case of traffic violations.
5) All pending arrears to Pourakaramikas and all their legal entitlements would be provided forthwith.
6) Commissioner of the BBMP highlighted that CM taking a decision that Bengaluru would move towards a landfill-free city is significant and unprecedented step for any city in India. Following up on this, he said the BBMP would ensure decentralised waste management, including composting organic waste in local areas, and recycling, would be massively encouraged.
7) Commissioner of the BBMP also seemed to agree with a suggestion that all communities that are impacted by landfills would be met with, or a meeting organised exclusively for them, so that their issues and concerns were comprehended to take necessary mitigative and ameliorative steps.
8) BBMP officials agreed that such meetings would be held in every zone and ward, and they invited citizens to step forward to organise such meetings and that BBMP would enthusiastically respond.
9) BBMP officials seemed to agree with the proposition that burning waste is absolutely unnecessary, and an unintelligent “solution” to the garbage problem, and that it only spreads incurable diseases while encouraging lack of civic consciousness and waste dumping.
With inputs from Leo Saldanha, Cordinator, ESG and Sandya Narayanan, member, SWMRT.