The celebration of World Environment Day on June 5th was marked by a resounding pledge to eliminate single-use plastic. However, if the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar Pallike (BBMP) and Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) are serious about their commitment to rid the city of single-use plastic and reduce pollution, immediate action is needed in surveying and addressing the dire situation at Avalahalli (Huskur Panchayat, Sarjapura Hobli).

Located near Electronic City, Avalahalli is plagued by the constant burning of heaps of plastic and medical waste. The repercussions of this toxic practice are being felt by the local community, particularly the children attending a nearby school, who are increasingly exposed to health risks. Despite numerous complaints to local authorities, the plastic waste dump continues to grow daily, filling the air with toxic fumes and polluting the local ecosystem.

The BBMP and KSPCB must acknowledge that established methods for collecting, recycling, and reusing plastic waste exist. However, their failure to control the production and sale of single-use plastic, coupled with the haphazard dumping and burning of toxic waste, is causing extensive pollution of land, water, and air in the area. This, in turn, has led to the contamination of borewell water sources, posing a threat to the overall well-being of the community.

Of great concern are the deteriorating Air Quality Index (AQI) and PPM (parts per million) levels in Avalahalli and its surrounding regions. If the burning of toxic waste continues unabated in these areas on the outskirts of Bengaluru, the situation is poised to worsen.

It is imperative that the BBMP and KSPCB take immediate and proactive measures to address this environmental crisis. First and foremost, their officers should be dispatched to survey no 22, Avalahalli, to assess the gravity of the situation. Swift action is needed to curb the burning of plastic and medical waste, which is not only causing severe health issues but also significantly contributing to pollution.

Moreover, it is crucial for the authorities to implement robust waste management systems that prioritize the collection, recycling, and proper disposal of plastic waste. Collaborating with local communities and organizations experienced in sustainable waste management can provide valuable insights and guidance in this endeavor.

The protection of the environment and the well-being of residents in Avalahalli should be a top priority for the BBMP and KSPCB. By taking decisive action to address the burning of toxic waste and implementing effective waste management practices, the authorities can safeguard the health of the local community, preserve precious natural resources, and prevent further degradation of the environment.

It is high time to act. Let us seize this opportunity to make Avalahalli a model for responsible waste management and a shining example of sustainable practices in Bengaluru. By doing so, we can create a healthier and cleaner environment for present and future generations


Joseph Hoover