To Solve the Construction Waste Dumping Issue MCC has Identified 2 Places for Disposal
Mangaluru: It should be noted that when Mangaluru Smart City Ltd (MSCL) had started a bunch of Smart City projects all at a same time, there was lots of mud, soil, rocks etc that had accumulated when digging of roads/footpaths was done, and with no proper place to dispose off all this construction waste soil/mud/debris, the contractors who were at the helm of all these MSCL projects dumped waste/debris wherever they could find a empty space or leave it near the construction sites. And when such kind of illegal way of handling of construction waste soil was going on for a while, the High Court (HC) in the month of December 2020, had directed the commissioner of Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) and MD of MSCL Akshy Sridhar to confirm whether rules relating to disposal of construction waste are being followed when executing 34 works undertaken within the city limits under the Smart City project. (Ref: MSCL First Violated C & DWR Rules & Now Stopped All Their Works, Putting Commuters in Hardship )
A division bench of the High Court presided over by Chief Justice A S Oka, which heard a public interest litigation filed by Karnataka Legal Services Authority, took the commissioner severely to task for failing to stick to rules. The bench directed him to appear for hearing on 23 December 2020 through video conferencing facility and provide explanation for the lapse. Advocate for the petitioner said that there were 34 works undertaken in Mangaluru City under the Smart City project, and said that rules and regulations were not being followed when disposing of waste generated at the sites of these works, duly pointing out that the waste lying at the work sites have not been cleared and this has been creating an impediment for the smooth movement of the people. “Without you getting smarter, how do you expect to make the city smart? Why are steps as per 2016 rules on construction waste disposal not followed? Why is the Smart City corporation a silent spectator to these violations,” asked the High Court .(Ref: Not Smart! Karavali Utsav Ground Now a Dumping Yard for MSCL Construction Waste Mud )
The court asked the commissioner to respond on action he would propose to take for violation of Construction and Demolition Waste Rules by the Smart City Ltd. The commissioner said he would ask the contractors to stop the work if they do not follow the rules. However, the commissioner said that the contractors have now applied for authorisation. He further stated that infrastructure to enable Smart City to comply with the rules was not available. Mangaluru City Corporation Commissioner Akshy Sridhar on 23 December had informed the High Court through video conferencing that the various works underway in the city under the Mangaluru Smart City Project will be suspended until the contractors adhere to the Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules 2016.
Sources reveal that to find a solution to the issue of disposing of construction debris generated inside the City, the Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) has identified two places for disposal. In a statement to the media, MCC Mayor Diwakar Pandeshwar had said , “We have identified the land before the High Court issued directions. While a quarry has been identified at Kunjathbail in December, yet another place has been identified at Pachhanady recently. The MCC council approved use of the two lands for the disposal of construction debris”.
In the meantime, during a protest organised by the Dakshina Kannada District Congress Committee (DCC) held on 12 January in front of MCC building, Lalbagh in the City, MLA U T Khader said that the inefficiency of Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC), Mangaluru Smart City Limited (MSCL) and the BJP government has resulted in the High Court suspending all ongoing works of smart city mission in the city. “The MSCL has failed to implement the Smart City projects effectively and it has been stopped following high court directions. It is the inefficiency of the MCC council led by the BJP. They failed to convince the High Court and present facts. The MSCL should have made provisions to dispose of construction debris scientifically before commencing works. I had prepared an action plan for the disposal of construction debris when I was the urban development minister,” added Khader and demanded the MSCL to clear the legal hurdles for smart city works. (Ref: ‘Public Money in Crores Wasted on Works Undertaken by MSCL’- Abdul Rauf)
K Harish Kumar, MLC and DCC president, said the ministers, MLAs, corporators and mayors from the Congress were instrumental in various development works that were launched in the city. However, in BJP’s administration in the MCC, they have failed utterly even in the implementation of solid waste management. And if you look back, in the yer 2016 MCC had identified two acres of government land at Kunjathbail on Survey Number 38/1A for the dumping of the construction debris, and once approved the problem of dumping of the construction debris to the landfill site at Pacchanady would have been solved. The city was supposed to have a separate site for dumping of construction debris and the city corporation council had given its nod for a fee to be charged from the public for the disposal of debris at the designated place. During then also the contractors were dumping construction debris besides the road sides in the city and on highways due to lack of identified sites for the purpose. The dumping of such debris had become a menace in the city. What happened to that plan of dumping construction waste at Kunjathbail, is still in suspense?