Bidadi farmers oppose waste-to-energy plant

Civic official says their fears are unfounded

Farmers from Kodiyala Karenahalli, Bidadi hobli are up in arms against the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), which has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd (KPCL) to set up a 200-tonne capacity waste-to-energy plant in the village.

The farmers, under the aegis of Raitara Hitarakashana Samiti, staged a protest in front of the BBMP head office on Tuesday demanding that the project be scrapped. They submitted a memorandum to Mayor Gangambike Mallikarjun and BBMP Commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad.

Gopal S., member of the gram panchayat and one of the protesters, said that the civic body had earlier given an undertaking that no garbage would be dumped in the village. "However, attempts are now being made to give Transfer of Development Rights to the land owner. We are resisting this attempt to convert agricultural land into a dump yard," he said, adding that the proposed site is near schools and fertile land.

"We are already suffering, as the polluted Vrushabhavathy river flows near the village," he added.

BBMP Joint Commissioner (SWM) Sarfaraz Khan said as per the MoU with KPCL, the civic body will only be sending low-grade plastics and refuse derived fuel (RDF) to the plant for incineration in kilns, much like in cement plants. "The communities don’t know the about the technology that will be adopted. Their fears are unfounded," he said.

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