BBMP Commissioner Rajneesh Goel is a smart man. To back up his ultimatum forcing apartments to do wet waste processing within, he brought up an unknown pollution control rule.
Goel pointed out recently that builders of big apartments are already bound to set up waste processing facilities. Apparently the state’s pollution watchdog, KSCPB, had made a rule in 2006 stating that installation of these facilities be made a condition to issuing Occupancy Certificates. This he says is reason enough for BBMP to stop collecting waste from apartments which do not have converters or compost pits! It is another matter that neither builders nor consumers buying flats are aware of this rule.
The preference to cite a rule is actually a good thing. It shows that at least one BBMP Commissioner appears to still have symbolic respect for a rule based system.
What Goel and the KSPCB ought to have considered is this: approvals for apartments are given to builders by town planning departments of BBMP and BDA. Approvals for Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) are given by KSPCB through a clear cut procedure too, that dovetails into the main sanction process. Builders therefore have to make provision for STPs when building the project, and the costs are passed to the property owners. Why did waste converters not already happen for the past six years then?
It’s simple: All of the sanctioning authorities – BDA, BBMP and KSPCB – slept on it, until the garbage crisis became a wakeup call in September 2012.
More apartments and gated layouts are being built and launched with each passing month. Any commissioner who is serious about getting waste processing mandatorily done within apartment communities is better off getting the city’s approval process to enforce waste converter or composting installations from the start. At least this will fix the problem going forward.