Bengaluru: For residents of a south-east Bengaluru suburb, the smell of rotting garbage is now an every day affair. After failing to convince authorities to relocate the waste management plant which they say is to blame for the persistent stink, they have brought their movement to the streets.
"We are protesting for our denial of right to breathe. The stink from the plant is covering a radius of two kilometres. It's polluting the air and the entire water table as well. We believe we need solid waste management but this is not how it should be done," said Anis Padela, a resident of HSR Layout.
The plant was first set up in 1975 when there weren't so many people living here. Dumping stopped when the population grew, but the plant started working again in 2014 after directions from the Karnataka High Court when the city authorities felt they were running out of garbage disposal options.
"The expert committee has misguided the High Court and we have a plant here which is not using scientific ways of processing the waste much beyond their capacity. All the waste from Madiwala is coming here which isn't supposed to. This is basic human rights. I'm not able to understand this," Vishal, another resident, said.
Bengaluru mayor B N Manjunatha Reddy, however, ruled out closing or shifting the plant and said matters will improve in two or three months. "Rs 80 crores of work is going on now. 80 per cent of work is done. A balance 20 per cent work remains so there is some smell. I promise the people of HSR layout that this will be a smell-less model garbage centre as soon as possible," he told NDTV.