BENGALURU: Karnataka, which grapples with a garbage glut, has mooted 3R Environmental Parks for the 219 urban local bodies, including Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).
Based on the three principles of reducing, reuse, and recycle, these 3R Environmental Parks will be developed and operated on the lines of the software parks that dot Bengaluru and other parts of the state. This effect was issued last week by the forest, environment, and ecology department, and the government is expected to make a formal announcement soon.
“These parks will offer integrated solutions for all municipal solid waste (garbage) disposal problems,” a senior IAS officer told TOI. At present, around 8,700 tons of garbage are generated in the state every day: while BBMP generates 3,500 tons per day, the remaining 218 urban local bodies churn out about 5,200 tons daily. The situation will only worsen in the coming years as population growth projections for 2032 predict a three-fold increase in waste generation from the present level.
In fact, the urban local bodies are already finding it difficult to handle garbage because of insufficient infrastructure and obsolete technology. “Moreover, resistance has been mounting from locals against setting up of solid waste processing units in their areas. Against this backdrop, the 3R parks were mooted; these will house all private and public waste processing units with all environmental safeguards. These parks will be in tune with the Solid Waste Management Rules 2011, notified by the Centre,” the officer added.
To start with, 10 such parks will be set up on 100-acre plots each. While three such parks will be developed around Bengaluru (beyond a 10km radius), the remaining seven will be established in other city municipal councils. The waste-to-energy plant proposed by Karnataka Power Corporation Limited at Bidadi will be converted into a 3R Environmental Park by acquiring an additional 25 acres of land.
These parks will be developed by the Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development and Finance Corporation (KUIDFC) and maintained by Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB). Wherever government land isn’t available, the authorities are entitled to acquire private land for these projects. The government will extend financial concessions to waste processing units as per the Swachh Bharat Mission. This apart, 4(g) exemption under the Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurement (KTTP) Act 1999 will be given to waste-to-energy units with handling the capacity of 100 tons per day and established under a PPP model.
ALL IN ONE PLACE
Every 3R park will come upon a 100-acre plot beyond a radius of 10km from the municipal boundary. These parks shall have a buffer area that’s at least 100 meters wide. They’ll have compound walls of sufficient height, and the buffer zone will be earmarked for the forest department to plant trees having dense green foliage. The small-scale recycling, segregating, and reuse units functioning in the city will be relocated to these parks. Segregation, waste-to-energy plants, composting units, bio mechanization plants, incinerators, briquette plants, e-waste processing units, paper, plastic, glass, rubber, metal recycling units, effluent treatment plants will be set up in these parks.
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For years now, Bengaluru has been struggling with its garbage, with no solution in sight. The growing muck piles are defacing the city and repeatedly highlighting the government and BBMP’s inability to address the issue. If implemented in earnest, these environmental parks could wipe Bengaluru clean of its murky image. The startup city’s software parks are its defining structures. Similarly, these 3R Environmental Parks could redefine the image of a city that has, sadly, turned from a Garden City to a Garbage City. What’s needed is a concerted effort, timely implementation, and a commitment to see the project through.