Madhugiri (honey hill) is a taluk in Tumkuru district. Its idyllic name is derived from the presence of many beehives in the region. But this place may not be sweet for much longer as the State Government has identified the taluk as one of two locations to build massive garbage-processing facilities to process waste from Bengaluru.


The Deccan Herald on January 19 reported that Madhugiri and Kolar Gold Fields (KGF) in Kolar district have been identified as locations to build “environment facility cities.” Both sites are more than 100 kms away from Bengaluru. Both sites will have about 1,000 acres of land, out of which 25 acres will be meant for processing facilities. The waste will be transported from Bengaluru by train and would be processed into biogas, electricity and compost.


Ironically, the government claims that the garbage-processing facilities are being opened in these distant locations because of opposition by local residents to existing plants located in Bengaluru. The proposal to shift garbage processing to Madhugiri has been in the works for some time now. In June 2016, the government assured that the new facility would be based on similar plants in Seoul, South Korea, and would have high-rise compound walls and greenery to ensure that local residents were not affected.


Also read: Bengaluru is sitting on a 'garbage bomb', set to explode


The Hindustan Times recently reported local residents in Madhugiri are worried about the proposals for a new garbage-processing facility and have warned of protests. Farmers in the area claim that the land surveyed by the BBMP is near the Jayamangali blackbuck conservation reserve. They worry that the proposed plant would upset the ecology in the region and drive the blackbucks into human settlements.


The situation highlights the desperate situation related to waste collection in Bengaluru, given its growth. The Karnataka Compost Development Corporation had opened a garbage-processing facility in Kudlu in 1975 when the area was not a residential location. However, with the growth of adjacent layouts, notably HSR Layout, residents have increasingly campaigned against the plant’s presence.


The Central Pollution Control Board has revealed that Bengaluru’s daily waste production doubled from 1,669 tonnes to 3,700 tonnes from 2005 to 2011. The State Government and civic authorities have made little movement on more decentralised waste-processing facilities in Bengaluru itself. Further, most existing units use obsolete and inefficient technology. The proposal for the new environment facility cities is unlikely to see smooth sailing given that garbage processing evokes public ire everywhere.