When: Nov 13, 2021
Time : 10:00 AM – 01:30 PM India
Where: Mangalore City Corporation Council Hall
- Dr. P. Subrahmanya Yadapadithaya, Hon’ble Vice Chancellor, Mangalore University
- Mr. Akshy Sridhar, IAS, Commissioner, Mangaluru City Corporation
- Mr. K. Rayappa, Municipal Commissioner, Ullal City Municipal Council
- Mr. Prithviraj Vernekar, Member Secretary, Mangalore District Legal Services Authority
- Dr. Prashantha Naik, Professor, Department of Biosciences, Mangalore University
- Leo Saldanha, Coordinator, Environment Support Group
- Bhargavi Rao, Trustee, Environment Support Group
- Dr. Rita Noronha, Joint Convenor, Swastha Mangaluru Samiti
The workshop on ‘Making Mangaluru an Environmentally Just City of South India: Sustainable and Just Solid Waste Management Strategies’ was organized by the Environment Support Group (ESG) in collaboration with Mangaluru City Corporation as part of a three-part workshop series on solid waste management in Imphal, Mangaluru and Bhubaneswar. The workshop in Mangaluru was hosted as part of the Pan-India Awareness and Outreach Campaign proposed by NALSA to commemorate 75 years of India’s Independence – ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav‘.
ESG in collaboration with Break Free From Plastic (BFFP), conceptualised this workshop series to share its learnings on waste management and governance strategies with local governments and communities in three ecologically sensitive cities. Through presentations and discussions in city-specific workshops, ESG is engaging with local activists, administrators, entrepreneurs, elected representatives, vulnerable groups, workers unions, affected residents, local community organisations, academic institutions, etc., and assisting in building their capacities for designing appropriate localised responses for mitigating and ameliorating the waste crisis. A particular emphasis is on promoting waste reduction, especially plastic reduction, by helping imagine strategies for non-production of materials that are unnecessary, though convenient to use, as they end up causing massive environmental and social problems, as plastic disposal does. This approach is keeping in mind how local waste governance intersects with the protection of commons and public health.
Waste management in Mangaluru City has received accolades in the past for a relatively efficient transportation and disposal system. Yet the city’s landfill at Pachanady is facing increasing pressure due to growing volumes of waste. In 2019, a tragic garbage slide destroyed crops and at least 27 houses near the landfill, precipitated in large part due to the dumping of construction and demolition waste by the Mangaluru Smart City Corporation Ltd. This has come under scrutiny of the Karnataka High Court in W.P. No. 9367 of 2020.
From the late 1990s, ESG worked with Arthur Pereira and others of Bajpe, and also communities of Vamanjur, questioning the decision to site the landfill at Pachanady: as it was very close to the Mangalore airport and violated Aircraft Act guidelines. Such risk factors were overlooked. As both the landfill and the airport expanded, a catastrophic consequence was the air crash in 2010.
The workshop was conducted at the Mangaluru City Corporation Council Hall and also over video conference from 10.00 A.M. to 2.00 P.M on 13 November 2021. The session was piloted by Mangaluru City Corporation, Swastha Mangaluru Samithi, and Mangalore University and over 150 attendees, most joining in person. They represented civil society groups, entrepreneurs and students, as well as public officials, academics, and journalists. Ms. Rita Noronha, Joint Convenor, Swastha Mangaluru Samithi, moderated the proceedings.