High Court of Karnataka (HC) has ordered all the local planning authorities to sanction layouts development plans only if they earmark a dedicated area for managing their own solid waste generated in their layout and nearby localities.
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The order came during a hearing of Solid Waste Management (SWM) Public Interest Litigation, when advocate Ajesh Shankar brought to the notice of the HC that a Civic Amenity site allocated for a waste processing facility in a BDA layout at Kengeri-hobli was encroached by some parties.
Taking cognizance of this, the HC Bench comprising of Justice B V Nagarathna and Justice N Kumar ordered BDA to immediately transfer the area dedicated as Civic Amenity to BBMP, so that BBMP can set up a garbage processing unit there.
Subsequently, HC directed all the planning authorities including BDA, BMRDA and local planning authorities of Nelamangala, Hosakote, Anekal, Bangalore International Airport Planning Authority (BIAAPA), Bangalore Mysore Infrastructure Corridor Area Planning Authority (BMICAPA) etc. to sanction layout plans only if the plan has waste processing area earmarked in a civic amenity site.
The court made it clear in the order that the size of the waste processing area shouldn’t be dependent only on the population of that particular layout but it should also consider the population in the neighbourhood.
HC asks BBMP to explore CSR
The primary problem that BBMP is facing is lack of efficiency in management. The court observed that builders, hoteliers and other corporate companies can play a crucial role in disposing of their waste as a part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. Such private participation of corporates will reduce the BBMP’s burden. BBMP Special Commissioner, SWM, Darpan Jain explained money is not an issue as much as management expertise that corporates could provide.
HC also suggested BBMP explore the possibility of Public Private Partnership (PPP) to dispose dry, wet and inert waste. HC said corporates can take up setting up of Dry Waste Collection Centres (DWCCs) as part of their CSR projects. HC also asked top ten builders of Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI) to consider taking up disposing the construction debris produced all over the city.
More DWCCs to come up
In the previous hearing, Court had ordered BBMP to present to HC the status of the DWCC in the city. BBMP informed court that BBMP owns 47 out of 146 DWCC in the city. Of which 29 are available but are not functioning while 18 are functioning. BBMP Commissioner Lakshmi Narayana told HC that the reason for having only 47 DWC is non-availability of land and public protest.
To this, Bangalore Police Commissioner M N Reddi and Additional Police Commissioner of Law and order Alok Kumar gave HC assurance that full support will be provided to BBMP in case public or any public servant protest BBMP’s order.
SWM Expert Committee member N Ramakanth brought to the notice of the court, that BMTC along with a private TV channel protested the setup of DWCC below the Yeshwanthpur flyover. Bench asked BBMP Commissioner to look into the matter and ordered BBMP to set up extra 20 to 25 DWCC in the remaining wards.
BBMP to manage KCDC for interim period
In the previous hearing, July 17th, HC asked KCDC Managing Director L N Belvanki, whether BBMP can be take over KCDC operators temporarily to process the city garbage in their unit. KCDC had sought time to discuss with the board members.
After holding a meeting with its Board members on 17th July , KCDC counsel informed HC, its willingness to work with BBMP but requested to take over 50% of shares of KCDC which is under Karnataka Agro Industries Corporation. If this happens, KCDC promised to increase their productivity to 1000 tonnes daily.
Karnataka Agro Industries Corporation (KAIC) owns 50% of KCDC’s shares, while BBMP and Karnataka State Co-operative Marketing Federation Limited owns 25%.
Following the court’s direction in the past, KCDC had received assistance from BBMP to set up extra machinery to process waste that was sent to their unit. This extra fund helped KCDC to boost up their processing power from 250 tons daily to 400 tons daily.
However, HC didn’t agree KCDC’s demand of transfer of 50% shares from KAIC to BBMP, instead it said that BBMP should take responsibility of operations for a temporary period till the backlog of waste is completely processed.
No going back – Mavallipura will be opened
Since BBMP has no provision for the disposal of the present garbage produced in the city, in the previous hearing on July 17th, HC had ordered to re-open Mavallipura landfill and send 300 tonnes of pure wet waste.
Justice N Kumar stuck to the order inspite of concerns raised by environmentalist Leo Saldanha, a petitioner in the PIL, over environmental impact that the dumping of the garbage will cause in Mavallipura. Citing Chief Minister of Karnataka Siddaramaiah’s deadline of 6 months Kumar said BBMP will take care to not to dump mixed garbage in the city or outside the city like Mandur or Mavallipura.
It was noted that 42 lakh tons of mixed garbage had accumulated at Mavallipura. This will be processed by the Ramky Infrastructure Pvt.Ltd who had received order in 2012, to shut down its processing unit by Karnataka state Pollution Control Board (KSPCB).
Training session for Corporators
In the past few hearings, a few residents of Bangalore had stepped forward and pointed out that corporators do not support in SWM activities, and at times become the hurdle for smooth functioning of waste segregation in their wards. Additional Commissioner Darpan Jain informed the court that Director of State Institute of Urban Development will organise programmes to educate the corporators about their roles and responsibilities as the chair of Ward Committees, with special focus on SWM.
Garbage contracts to be heard on August 11
HC decided to hear the all the garbage contract related cases on Monday August 11, 2014 (To know more about this issue, click here ), while matters related to non-functioning of Ward Committees and their role will be on September 1st 2014.