BBMP’s plan to appoint mentors for waste processing plants hits a snag
Members of the Technical Guidance Committee (TGC), who were to be mentors, reject the proposal
The civic body’s plan to address the problems of odour and sanitation at waste processing plants by appointing mentors has hit a snag even before it could launch the initiative.
With several communities living around the plants complaining about mismanagement, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had proposed to appoint members of the Technical Guidance Committee (TGC) as mentors. The idea, however, has been rejected by committee members.
The TGC, which was constituted following directions of the Karnataka High Court, has objected to the proposal, citing conflict of interest. Many committee members also claimed that the recommendations they have made so far have not been implemented by the BBMP.
In a strongly worded letter to the BBMP Commissioner, TGC members have pointed out that the role of the committee is to shape and guide policy perspectives, provide technical guidance on various aspects of waste management. If inducted into a “hands on role” for individual plants, it would lead to a conflict of interest, they maintained.
“TGC members cannot be the judge and the judged at the same time. Being appointed as a mentor would put us in this conflict,” the letter read.
TGC committee members also noted that mentoring was not in the spirit of “our being guides or advisors to BBMP” as per directions of the High Court.
They claimed to have contributed considerable time advising BBMP on various aspects of waste management, often at the cost of their own routine academic and other responsibilities, in the best interest of the city. “Unfortunately, most of the suggestions have been largely ignored,” they alleged.
BBMP Administrator Gaurav Gupta, following consultations with the TGC and SWM Cell in BBMP, had proposed the mentorship idea. With mentorship and technical leadership, issues at the various processing plants may see some resolution, he had stated.
Refuting TGC’s allegations, BBMP’s Special Commissioner (SWM) D. Randeep said the civic body had taken up many measures as recommended by the expert committee to improve SWM in the city.
He said several measures, such as having dedicated plant managements, exclusive escrow account for SWM and regular reviews, have been put in place based on TGC recommendations. That apart, standard operating procedure (SOP) for processing plants under two experts is also ready and would be put in place after TGC approval.
Meanwhile residents living in the vicinity of the plants say they are yet to get relief from the stench and the alleged leachate contamination. On November 1, residents of Electronics City Phase II and the neighbouring Chikkanagamangala, Doddanagamangala and Shantipura villages had participated in a ‘tweetstorm’ on social media demanding closure of the solid waste management (SWM) plant located in the area.