Environment Support Group
COVID-19 Pandemic

BBMP Must Drop its Plan to Set Up an Open Crematorium at Mavallipura Landfill Site

A representation has been made in this regard to the BBMP Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner (Bangalore Urban) and is enclosed.

B. Srinivas of Dalit Sangharsh Sangh speaking to the police personnel

On the afternoon of 28th April 2021, Mavallipura was paid a visit by police and revenue officials. The intent of the visit was to set up an open crematorium atop the landfill. The thought of cremating the dead in a landfill is shocking. At a time when the nation grieves for those who lost their lives to the pandemic, the least we can do is to ensure that their untimely loss is respectfully and reverentially treated. A landfill cannot be the place to cremate or bury our dead.

It is well known that the people of Mavallipura have been struggling against illegal dumping of Bangalore’s waste in their forests and grazing pastures, and for decades.  During this time, hundreds have become critically ill and dozens have died as a consequence of pollution. All these have been brought to the attention of the Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka in WP 46523/2012 cw WP 24739/2012. In response, the Court to bio-mine accumulated waste and decontaminate the area of the toxic mess.

Recently, ESG conducted a study of the health situation of the people of the village and discovered that 45 have died due to cancer, kidney failure, respiratory illness, or cardiovascular disease in just about 100 cases surveyed. Scores others continue to suffer, and there is no knowing how many until BBMP conducts a comprehensive health survey as directed by the Court several years ago. A rapid assessment of the status of health of people impacted by landfills in Mavallipura, North Bangalore, a report of the health survey can be viewed here, and a comprehensive report on the health and environmental impacts is accessible here and here

The idea of setting up a crematorium on the Mavallipura landfill site must be dropped immediately, not only because it is in gross violation of High Court’s directives, but because a landfill is not a place to cremate those who have died due to COVID, a direct result of extensive mal governance. Such a move would also safeguard IAF trainee pilots who take off and land over Mavallipura in Yelahanka Air Force Base. An open air crematoria here would attract scavenging birds and put at risk our young pilots who will be piloting IAG planes to keep us safe day and night.

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