BENGALURU: BBMP, as part of the agreement, had offered 50 acres of land at survey number 155 at Mandur village, Bengaluru East taluk, in exchange for equal value land (EVL) from defence authorities. However, defence officials spiked the proposal stating that nearly 30 acres of the land was nothing but a garbage dump.
This came to light at a high-level meeting convened on August 16 to review the process of transfer of defence land required for developmental projects. It was attended by a special secretary from the ministry of defence, state principal secretary (urban development department), BBMP commissioner and Brigadier Shahnawaz, deputy general officer commanding, (Karnataka and Kerala Sub area), and other officials.
According to the meeting’s proceedings, outgoing BBMP commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad said 50 acres in Mandur village had been offered to defence authorities and there had been no response from the latter. At this juncture, Brigadier Shahnawaz said 30 acres were “filled with legacy garbage (piled up at landfills) and only 20 acres were found suitable”. Asked if the land can be utilised if the garbage is remove Brigadier Shahnawaz replied in the negative citing health reasons. The state government directed revenue department officials to survey and demarcate 20 acres of land in Mandur by August 28.
According to sources, the Palike was confident that defence officials wouldn’t be aware that it’s a landfill. However, the agency was in for major embarrassment after Shahnawaz revealed that 30 acres were not in a usable condition even if the garbage was cleared.
The Mandur landfill was shut in 2014 after a large-scale protest, but several complaints have been filed with police and BBMP about illegal garbage dumping being rampant at the spot.
Last year in August, the government came up with an idea to build one lakh houses for the poor at the landfill, which is spread over 64 acres. However, the proposal drew flak from environmentalists, who said the place is not fit for human habitation. Though the landfill is covered with sand, it stinks whenever it rains, claim locals.
Sources said that with BBMP coming up with such silly offers, the process of land transfer from defence has got delayed. As a result, motorists will continue to put up with traffic snarls.
Source: The Times of India
Image Source: Deccan Chronical