No takers for our Mess

The city's garbage troubles mounted as people of Mandur said a firm no to the BBMP dumping its trash in their midst. With the villagers having warned the BBMP of their protest, it did not send even one lorry to Mandur on Monday, although it did dump garbage in the landfill there on Sunday.

“The BBMP sent hundreds of lorries carrying garbage to Mandur Sunday night,” said Nagaraja, a farmer from Mandur village. With the villagers of Mavallipura refusing to take Bengaluru's garbage anymore, the BBMP has been forced to dispose it of in Mandur and on land managed by the private firm, Terra Firma.

The protest at Mavallipura grew after deputy Chief Minister R Ashok announced on August 22 that the landfill there would be reopened. A protester’s death due to a heart attack fuelled the people's anger against the government, forcing it to deploy police around Mavallipura and Mandur to keep the situation under control.

On Monday the villagers were ready to form a human chain to block entry of garbage trucks and had also hired an earthmover to dig up the road if they tried to force their way in. The Mandur landfill, meanwhile, saw a fire breakout on Monday. The thick black smoke and the stink started to spread in the villages by afternoon, and visibility dropped to less than 50 metres at the landfill. While some workers at the landfill accused the villagers of having set the garbage on fire, they denied it. “There has been heavy police cover at the landfill for the past three days and we are not allowed anywhere near it. How can we have set the fire? Moreover, a fire at the site affects us more than anyone else,” said Anil GM, a student from Gundur village near the landfill.

The fire brigade took over an hour to contain the fire. “We first sent two fire engines at around 12.30 pm. Later one more engine was called to assist. By 2 pm, the fire was under control, but there was still quite a thick smoke in the area," said a fire department officer.

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