For the Want of a Storm Water DrainWritten by Niharika and Arukshita
For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.
The SWM Plant soon after the construction in June 2016
We had visited the Saahas facility in 2016 October, it was an inspiring experience to see how Source Segregated waste could be turned into resources in a hygienic manner. This reduced what was sent to landfills and also produced what is called Black Gold, compost. In 2018, we visited the facility again and it was disheartening to see the sorry state of affairs, the plant lay in ruin. Water surrounded it. The Saahas team informed us this was all for the want of something as simple as the stormwater drain.
While BBMP provided the land for land this 3750 sq. feet in the prime location of Whitefield; Capgemini Technology Services India Limited. funded the building and equipment to create a state of the art decentralized facility. Saahas was operating the facility, Citizen around were very enthused and like us, many schools have visited the facility to understand Sustainable Waste Management facility.
It was to cater to 4000 households and 4-5 bulk waste generators such as Apartments or Offices.
The SWM plant in better times
It seems soon after the facility came up in June 2016, waste dumping started in the vacant land around the centre. This lead to the centre becoming a low lying point in the area.
The SWM plant shut down due to rains and illegal dumping around it
Duly, letters of petition were sent.
To the joint commissioner, to the assistant executive engineer, to the joint commissioner of the Mahadevapura zone, and finally, to the commissioner of the BBMP himself.
Yet, no responses were received, and no action taken either.
The debris around is upon the centre now and looks threatening, some boulders have also fallen over and dented the walls.
A waste management centre that was built as a model facility to inspire 4000 local households towards practicing a healthy segregation system – now is rendered non-operational.
The high court had compared the tragedy that could occur in Bangalore due to dysfunctional waste management plants, to the apocalyptic disaster in Bhopal in 1984.
It gave one pause to think, seeing unnerving connections.
The local community had supported the project wholeheartedly. As in Bhopal.
The plant became dysfunctional. As in Bhopal. All for the want of a storm water drain.
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