Environmentalists, residents demand a landfill closure in Bangalore

Environmentalists, residents demand a landfill closure in BangaloreVarious Environment Support Group and residents have demanded a closure of the Mavallipura landfill in the outskirts of Bangalore citing pollution and the impact of unscientific dumping on the health of the people living in nearby areas.

The landfill gets about 600 of the 3,500 tonnes generated daily by the city. Fifteen-year-old Akshay Kumar from Mavallipura died of dengue on July 23 and the residents are blaming dumping of waste.

A report titled, “Bangalore’s Toxic legacy: Investigating Mavallipura’s illegal landfills” prepared by an Environment group after a five years research has said that unscientific and illegal dumping of waste is the reason for the pollution and ill effects on the residents.

Leo F Saldanha of ESG said, "The landfill is not only illegal but even the garbage disposal is unscientifically done. More than 10 lakh tonnes of garbage have been dumped in this site. We want the BBMP to shut down this landfill."

He urged the government to close the landfill and also compensate the people living in the area. More than 2,000 people are estimated to live near Mavallipura.

A section of the report read, "Mavallipura landfills are merely 2.5 km from river Arkavathi. Thereby, the landfills are in violation of an order of department of forest, ecology and environment that protects the 1,453-sqkm watershed of Tippagondanahalli reservoir from all forms of pollution."

Mr. Leo further said that there has been a lack of environment impact assessment study and the also there are no medical camps to assess the impact. The worms from the garbage are found to have contaminated the ground water in the areas and also the Mavallipura tank.

The landfill is only 5.6 km from Yelahanka Air Force Base and thus the defense authorities have also asked for its closure because it is a threat to air security.