Smoke from waste plant choking us, say Kannahalli villagers

Smoke from waste plant choking us, say Kannahalli villagers

Submitted by alvin on Sat, 2016-10-15 11:11 Bengaluru: Eight days after a massive fire broke out at Kannahalli waste segregation plant on the city outskirts, villagers of Kannahalli and Seegehalli have accused the authorities of doing little to halt the black smoke emanating from the plant, which the villagers said had become a serious threat to their health.Apart from the smoke, villagers are also unhappy with the long-standing problem of foul smell and the mosquito menace arising due to the wet waste."Last week, we noticed fire in the garbage segregation unit. Now, the thick black smoke has made our lives hell,” said Mohan Raj, Secretary, Kannahalli Seegehalli Kasa Vilevari Horata Samithi. “For the past one year, we have been to get rid of the waste processing plant. We were assured by political representatives that the foul and other issues would be addressed. But nothing has been done. After Dasara, we will hold a meeting. If nothing is being done, we will have no option to return about 500 tonnes of city waste."Stray dog menaceNarasimha Murthy, a resident of Kannahalli, is livid with the BBMP for causing ecological damage. "Our village was serene. After the plant came, about 300 dogs are seen moving in packs near the waste unit. Our livestock is in serious danger as dogs bite and kill them. What BBMP did at Manduru for years, it is doing the same thing here," he said.An engineer with the BBMP’s environment wing said the fire department was doing its best to contain the fire.  “The plant was one of the best. The fire damaged waste worth Rs7 crores,” he said. As far as the issue of smell was concerned, the official said the problem was being addressed by keeping the “segregated waste in a closed environment”.Sarfaraz Khan, Joint Commissioner, Health and Solid Waste Management, had another take on the matter. “Villagers are instigated by the land mafia,” said the joint commissioner. “Time and again there have been staged protests at the village. Last time, a few miscreants set the garbage on fire. And this time too we suspect the same. To avoid any problem, the BBMP is taking police help and dumping waste. The waste is scientifically processed."Delay in reopening the unitThe BBMP, in spite of its best efforts, has not been able to contain the fire. With the fire still raging, the civic body's plan to reopen it by Wednesday have come unstuck.  A BBMP official from Solid Waste Management Department said, "More than 80 people have been working to extinguish the fire. But we have not succeeded in controlling it."The BBMP is also facing difficulty in diverting the waste to six other waste processing units as each plant has a capacity to handle only 500 tonnes per day. There are two plants at Kannahalli waste processing unit. One plant has a capacity to process 500 tonnes per day, while another can handle 250 tonnes per day.