Dumping yard spreads diseases around Bangalore

Narayan and Somanna from Mavallipura share a similar fate. Their health has been affected because of the garbage dumped by BBMP in Mavallipura, near Yelahanka.


Narayana used to graze his cattle in the area near the dumping yard. He has now got rashes and wounds all over his body. “I went to the government hospital in Hesaraghatta and the doctor said that I will be fine if the BBMP stops dumping garbage in our village,” he said. He applied some cream given, but it has not helped, and he has no money to go to a private doctor. “My two goats have died after eating the plastic from the dumping yard,” he said.


Somanna’s skin is also infected. The skin on his hands and neck has developed white patches. “My hands keep scratching and the doctor in Yelahanka government hospital has said that it is because of the filth around our village,” he said. The villagers also complained of wheezing because of the smoke that emanates when the garbage is set on fire. Hospital wastes are also dumped in the yard.


Just last week, two cows in the village died. “They died after they drank the water in the village pond. It is not the first time, we buy cattle on loan but they die after drinking water,” said Muttanna, a villager.


The water sprayed on the garbage to control the fire, is collected on pond like structures around the garbage called leachets. “This water seeps into the ground water table and joins the nearby lake and the village wells. The water in the lake and wells has turned black,” said Kempanna, one of the villagers leading the struggle.


The water when tested showed that it contained toxics. “We cannot even drink water now. We have dug a borewell one kilometer away from the village. Our health, agriculture and cattle are suffering because of this,” said Srinivas, another villager.


The garbage dumping started in 2004, when Bylarappa gave seven and half acres of land to BBMP to dump garbage. This did not have the pollution control board’s approval. So, the board filed a criminal case against Bylarappa. “We did not file a case against BBMP since we need the government’s permission and go through a long procedure to file a case against any government department. According to the water act the people can file a case against the BBMP, if the pollution control board does not take action. We have asked the people to do that,” said a pollution control board officer, who did not want to be named.


The people are supposed to give a 60 day notice to the pollution control board, and if does not take action the can themselves file a case. “We have taken the role of the board and are preparing to file a criminal case against BBMP. Since the commissioner is responsible for BBMP’s actions, the case will be against him,” said Leo Saldanha, of ESG.











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