Escalating garbage crisis in Bengaluru’s Ilyas Nagar, residents seek BBMP action

People seem to feel that waste dumping is quite acceptable in Ilyas Nagar. BBMP is yet to act on residents' complaints.

The garbage issue is escalating into a nightmare for residents of Ilyas Nagar, a residential locality in south Bengaluru’s Yelachenahalli. 

As you take a left turn from the Outer Ring Road to enter the BWSSB Pipeline Road, which connects 100 feet Ring Road, just a few metres inside, you will see a garbage dump along the roadside. And as you move ahead, 50 metres from Razor King saloon, you can see another bigger garbage dump. Despite garbage vans coming to their doorstep, some residents choose to dump waste along the side of the BWSSB Pipeline Road. 

The road is poorly maintained and there is a lack of basic hygiene. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) doesn’t seem to be concerned about the issue as no steps have been taken to resolve it. 

It has been almost two years, and the issue still persists. Unfortunately, it is getting worse as the days pass. Half of the road is covered with garbage. Considering the present condition, there is a possibility that the entire road might get covered with garbage.

Garbage strewn across the road
Residents complain that the garbage dump has led to an increase in insects and rodents. Pic: Rohit Gharabude

Health hazards, breeding ground for pests

The persistent lack of cleanliness has created a perception that the area is an acceptable spot for waste disposal. Over the past few months, the BBMP has neglected cleaning efforts in the area, despite residents urging strict action against littering. Siddharth H, a bakery owner, says, “This has turned into a small dumping ground where people dispose of garbage every day. Despite informing BBMP officials multiple times, no action has been taken to address the problem.”

Read more: Hundreds of crores of SWM budget lie unutilised, yet no sign of scientific landfills

Ranjan Gowda, another residents, says: “Both local residents and people from surrounding areas throw garbage here. This has led to an increase in rats within the vicinity.”

Ilyas Nagar’s garbage condition. Video: Rohit Gharabude

Residents are worried as the accumulating garbage is attracting pests and rodents, potentially leading to the spread of diseases. Shobha K, a resident, says, “The garbage strewn all around has become a breeding ground for various insects and there has been an increase in rats and mosquitoes in the area. My daughter has been afflicted with dengue twice.”

Incidents of burning garbage in the area have further compounded the issue, causing respiratory problems for people. Bhagya J, a resident, says, “In the evening, some teenagers burn the trash, polluting the air and making it hard to breathe. Consequently, we can’t even open our windows at home.”

No work done by BBMP, segregation of waste not followed

A BBMP official who works in Ward 185, on condition of anonymity,  explains: “We are developing a comprehensive plan to resolve this issue. In the meantime, daily cleaning of the area will be ensured. Those caught dumping garbage will be fined.”

Regardless of awareness programmes related to segregation of waste organised by Saahas every month in 2023, there has been no change seen in the area.

Tejas, Assistant Project Coordinator at Saahas, says, “We have organised numerous awareness programmes related to waste segregation in the area. However, the BBMP has made no effort to send separate vehicles for the collection of dry and wet waste. As a result, residents have no choice but to dump their waste along the roadside.”

If BBMP does not act then there is a possibility that the whole road will be covered with garbage. Video: Rohit Gharabude

The perception among residents is that garbage collection has been neglected because it is a low-income locality. This Citizen Matters report pointed out that the state of waste segregation in  Yelachenahalli ward has the worst waste segregation in the Kanakapura Road area. While separate vehicles for dry and wet waste are sent to higher income wards, only one vehicle is sent to lower income areas to collect all kinds of waste.

Kavya K, one of the residents, affirms this. “Only one collection auto is sent to collect the waste, and they don’t segregate it. Wet waste, dry waste, and sanitary waste are all put into one gunny bag. Unfortunately, due to it being a low-income locality, BBMP neglects it”

Gulab P, social activist and volunteer at Changemakers of Kanakapura Road, says, “The responsibility for the garbage issue doesn’t solely rest with the residents; BBMP shares equal blame for its negligence. They frequently fail to dispatch collection autos on time and lack separate vehicles for dry and wet waste. To address this problem effectively, BBMP must impose penalties on those who dump garbage along the roadside. Additionally, they should ensure timely collection by deploying separate vehicles for dry and wet waste.”

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