Mandur garbage dump to become golf course

Villagers desperate for solutions

Bengaluru: The BBMP is planning to turn the Mandur landfill site, now a wasteland where nothing grows, into a golf course, if the civic body’s proposal to setup a bio-remediation plant doesn’t take shape.

The BBMP wants private companies to install bio-remediation plant on the 150-acre site filled with toxic chemicals and gases, but it hasn’t found any takers despite calling for tenders four times.

Speaking to Bfirst.in, KR Nagraj, Assistant Engineer, BBMP, Solid Waste Management, said the government approved a bio-remediation plant along with a tree park and playground in 2015. “We had called tenders four times but no company has shown interest. This March, we called for another tender. Private companies have time till March 31,” he said.

He said if the proposal fails, then the BBMP will approach the state government to turn the landfill into a golf course under the PPP model.

Sarfaraz Khan, Special Commissioner, Solid Waste Management, BBMP, said, “Soil capping will be done so that the waste will be decomposed rapidly. Apart from this, good rain will wash out the leachate and chemical contents. Suggestions will be taken from experts regarding the golf course. But we want the villagers to find peace after this project.”

 

Experts’ take

Phanikumar Pulela, Professor, Department of Chemistry, CMRIT, said termed the golf-course a “good idea”. “To create a golf course, uneven land will have to be flattened and a thick layer of grass will have to be grown. Along with this, planting trees such as neem will boost the fertility of the land. Ten years down the line, ground water will get replenished. There will be no issues of methane and other hazardous gases,” he said.

Environmentalist Yellappa Reddy also said it was a good plan. “But methane tapping would pose a challenge,” he cautioned. “It requires time, experts, hard work, manpower and technology.  While tapping methane deposited under the ground, one should see that the rain water should not seep inside the ground. If methane is not tapped properly, then the ground water might continue to get contaminated. Once this gas is tapped, it can be used as alternative energy in industries.”

 

Villagers desperate for solutions

Thirumalesh, a resident in Mandur who owns five acres, said years of dumping had contaminated the groundwater and turned the soil infertile, as a result of which crops continue to fail. “We desperately want the landfill to be turned into good fertile land. Earlier, the BBMP had promised a tree park but they failed to do that. Now, they plan to setup a golf course. We will be happy if it gets done,” he said.

Another villager Shivaji Rao welcomed the move. “But let them first clean the leachate deposited in the huge pits. It has caused lot of damage to the village. Even today leachate flows into the pits. Let the officials visit the landfill to see the bad condition,” he said.

Janardhan Gowda, Gram Panchayat, President, remained unconvinced. “I do not believe in the BBMP’s promises. They failed to give us proper drinking water also,” he said. But he said that if the BBMP’s plan materialises, it would stop the mosquito infestation.

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