Council stops collecting garbage due to lack of dumping space

Environment Health

The existing dumping ground near the Bidadi railway station has been earmarked for the construction of the six-lane Bengaluru-Mysore highway, leaving the Municipal council to find another ground.

Bidadi: The Bidadi Municipal Council has run out of space to dump garbage and has stopped collecting it for the past few weeks. Residents have taken to dumping garbage on the streets.

Garbage collection in most wards within Bidadi Municipal Council area has stopped, except in a few wards within Bidadi town. Gutters—filled with garbage—have started to emanate foul odours, while some manholes are overflowing due to blockages. 

“Earlier they used to at least collect garbage twice or thrice a week. For the past few weeks, they have stopped entirely. We dump dry waste in the fields and burn it,” said Shanthamma, a homemaker from Abbankuppe.

According to C. Lokesh, the Vice President of the Municipal Council, the work has stopped due to the lack of dumping space. “The existing dumping ground is owned by Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), not the council, and has been earmarked for highway expansion.

“The government has given us land near Sheshagirihalli, but at a high cost. We have petitioned the government to reduce the cost of the land by 50 per cent. In the meantime, we are looking at alternate solutions we can afford,” he said.

The current dumping ground on the side of the Bengaluru-Mysuru state highway has been used for more than a decade. It is infamous for its foul stench and was practically a pigsty with pigs regularly feeding off the garbage. 

According to council workers, people from areas in Bengaluru, such as Kengeri and Kumabalagodu, used to illegally dump their garbage in the middle of the night and were warned by the council multiple times. 

Satish, a resident of Bidadi said that he welcomed the move to stop dumping the garbage near the railway station, even if the garbage collection has stopped as a consequence. “It was unbearable to live near that dump. It was the same for people who commuted from the railway station.”

Currently, the council has a dry waste sorting facility near Avaragere, where it sorts plastic and other waste to recycle. But the council is yet to get a permanent dumping ground for wet waste. 

Lokesh, who assumed office last month after elections, said he was confident the problem would be resolved in a few days. “We are looking at private lands to dispose of wet waste, and I’m confident we can resolve this issue within a few days.”

The head of All India Institute of Public Health and Hygiene, said the council should find a dumping ground as soon as possible and restart garbage collection. “Garbage dumped on the side of the road is a serious health hazard, especially given the current circumstances with the pandemic.” he said. “The council must do everything to safely dispose of garbage without delay.”