Justice Subhash B Adi, who heads the NGT-mandated state-level panel to streamline solid waste management, has called for levying steep fines on people not segregating waste: Rs 25,000 for first-time offenders, Rs 50,000 for second and Rs 1 lakh for third-timers.
Observing that plastic use has dipped in large entities like malls but is persisting in small shops, he said: "Plastic use is coming down in the state, but it can be checked in Bengaluru only by increasing penalties."
Responding to complaints from many stakeholders that auto-tippers were turning up at odd hours to pick waste from their doorstep, special BBMP commissioner D Randeep said a time schedule will be fixed for vehicles lifting garbage from households.
A large number of residents, NGOs and civic activists turned up for a meeting at Chowdaiah Memorial Hall on July 1 to discuss ways to implement sustainable waste management in the city.
Segregation at source is the primary step towards a progressive Bengaluru, said Justice Adi. "Segregation and composting of waste needs to happen at the ground or ward level. Building new plants is not the solution," he added.
The country generates 1.5 lakh tonnes of waste every day and most of it is dumped on the earth. While the state generates 11,850 tonnes of garbage daily and 5,600 tonnes comes from Bengaluru alone, he pointed out.
"We are doing everything to ensure waste is segregated, but people do not want to do it. Many people still dispose of mixed waste and blame us," mayor Gangambike Mallikarjun said.
Several residents blamed BBMP for not collecting garbage, for excessive plastic usage and for not slapping fines on plastic manufacturers. SK Kaushik from Malleswaram said garbage has been lying in his neighbourhood for many days and the Palike has done nothing to clear it. "We had written to BBMP numerous times and didn't get any response. But when we wrote to the National Green Tribunal (NGT), the problem was immediately resolved. Why can't BBMP do its duty properly?" asked Kaushik.
Jnanabharati Layout resident HK Govindaiah suggested that residents segregating waste need to be rewarded to motivate others.
Waste segregation in classrooms
Justice Subash B Adi said the education department will soon issue a circular to get schools to conduct special classes for children to spread awareness about waste segregation. He said the department has been asked to spread awareness among children about sustainable waste management.
Source: Various News Papers, Bengaluru