BENGALURU: Finally, the legacy waste in Bengaluru’s old and most talked-about landfill site — Mandur — will be cleared. But the exercise will start after the most-awaited biannual Aero-India show so that no scavenging birds are drawn to it.
The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has got the approval from the government and bidding has started to start the process of bio-mining on the site where 1 lakh tonnes of waste is accumulated.
“Once the government approval is obtained, the exercise will commence. It is a Rs 80 crore project, and will take around two years to completely clean up all the waste. The work will start from February 15, after the Aero-India and after all approvals are obtained,” D Randeep, Special Commissioner, Solid waste management, BBMP, said.
He explained that the inert materials, organic waste, other wastes like plastic and other metals will be separated and handled separately. After handling the waste in Mandur, the BBMP will deal with the waste in Mavallipura and Bellahalli. Earlier, there were plans to utilise the Mandur site for a high-rise apartment complex. Later, it was also decided to make it a tree park. However, the BBMP has not yet decided what needs to be done with the site after the waste is cleared. The government will take a final call.
Meanwhile, experts have lauded BBMP’s decision to finally start work on the site, even though orders by the Enforcement Directorate were issued in 2013. Leo Saldanha, Coordinator, Environment Support Group, said BBMP must exercise all precautionary measures like not allowing toxins to flow out, and ensuring liquids don’t percolate underground. Pathogenic acidity should also be looked into, he said and warned that fire is also possible which can lead to a catastrophe.
He suggested including experts in the exercise. Since the issue was raised by local communities, the BBMP must also involve them to ensure that there are no untoward incidents, he said. Health and environmental impact must be thoroughly assessed while handling the waste. Since methane gases will be released, the BBMP and the contractors must first remove the gases and then slice out the waste, take it elsewhere and then segregate it, Saldanha said. The manure should not be used for agriculture as it will have heavy metals. This is because no results are known yet on the groundwater quality, he said.