ESG’s PIL Initiatives Advancing Socially Just & Ecologically Progressive Management Of Solid Waste

ESG has consistently been involved in issues and concerns relating to municipal solid waste management in Bangalore metropolitan area since 1999.  We have also worked in developing the State’s first Solid Waste Management Plan, which was done with support from the Indo-Norwegian Environment Programme for Raichur Municipality in north Karnataka.   We also work with Pourakarmikas, workers who maintain cleanliness of our cities, towns and villages, and with various communities impacted by landfills and waste dumping.

In 2012, ESG initiated a Public Interest Litigation before the Karnataka High Court challenging the gross mismanagement of waste management systems, challenging landfilling waste, challenging the lack of a decentralised and localised scheme of waste management and resource recovery, and importantly bringing to attention the gross neglect of the condition of those who keep our cities and villages clean day in and day out.

The PIL, listed as WP 46523/2012 c/w WP 24739/2012, has been frequently and systematically heard by Principal and Division Benches of the Karnataka High Court, and ESG’s submissions have played a key role in shaping various progressive directions.  In a substantial gain, ESG was able to secure a stay against an attempt by Indian Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change to bring into law very regressive SWM approaches nation-wide, including efforts to made waste incineration the key choice. The High Court directed the Indian Government to bring any legal reform in sync with its progressive orders ESG’s PIL, and the result is the much improved Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.

Here we provide documentation relating to this legal initiative, which is ongoing, and also all other related material.

Public Interest Litigation and associated documents:

ESG PIL on SWM & Mavallipura in HC Kar Nov 2012 (zip)

Daily Orders related to the SWM PIL


Memos filed by ESG in HC

Submission of ESG report titled “Bangalore’s Toxic Legacy Intensifies: Status of Landfills, Waste Processing Sites and Dumping grounds, and working conditions of Pourakarmikas”, dated 26 Mar 2018

Submissions on the functioning of State Level Advisory Body and incineration plant being set up by 3Wayste, dated 17 Dec 2019

Submissions on waste to energy plants being set up at Mavallipura, dated 21 Oct 2020

Health survey 2020, Mavallipura, dated 6 Nov 2020

Submissions on dilution of working draft on Karnataka Urban SWM Policy; medical opinion on Mavallipura Rapid Health Survey, dated 11 Nov 2020

Submissions on dilution of working draft on Karnataka Urban SWM Policy; medical opinion on Mavallipura Rapid Health Survey, dated 11 Nov 2020

Submissions summarising HC directions on various strategies for SWM and on the establishment of WTE plants, dated 5 Dec 2020

Response to BBMP affidavits on centralization of waste processing mechanisms, including economic analysis of WTE plant proposals, dated 16 Dec 2020

Submissions on new waste corporation being set up by BBMP, dated 08 Feb 2021

Response to UDD’s affidavit on compliance with SWM Rules dated 3 November, 2021


Memos & Affidavit filed by Respondents

BBMP’s Compliance Affidavit with SWM Rules dated 06 July 2021

Indian Air Force’s submission on Mavallipura, dated 24 Sept 2020

Status Report by KSPCB on SWM by BBMP and Mangalore City Corp, dated 14 Oct 2020

Compliance affidavit by BBMP dated 21.10.2020 on solid waste management strategies in Bangalore

Urban Development Department submission on payment of compensation to the victims of solid waste landslide in Mangalore, dated 22 Oct 2020.

Compliance Affidavit by Member Secretary of KSPCB, dated 9 Nov 2020

Compliance Affidavit by BBMP dated 07.12.2020 on solid waste management strategies in Bangalore

Compilation of Kar HC orders in WP 46523/2012

ESG Report: “Bangalore’s Toxic Legacy Intensifies” – February 2018


Documentation relating to the enactment of SWM Rules 2016:

Draft Municipal Solid Waste Rules 2013 – MoEF Backgrounder on Ward Committee Draft Rules 2013 by ESG

ESG Comments to the MoEF Draft MSW Rules 2013

MoEF Affidavit filed in Karnataka HC in ESG PIL defending Draft MSW Rules 2013

Comparison of MSW Rules 2000 with Draft MSW Rules 2013
Memo (Part A) filed By ESG in the case 46523 dated 25.4.2014

Memo (Part B) filed by ESG in the case 46523 dated 25.4.2014


Reports on Mavallipura and other landfills in Bangalore:

“Bangalore’s Toxic Legacy”- A report prepared by ESG on the MSW situation in Mavallipura village, July 2010

Solid Waste Management and Strategies by ESG (zip)

ESG campaign to make Bangalore a Wasteless City and petition to the Chief Minister of Karnataka

Water Analysis Result from various sources in and around Mavallipura Village by ESG (zip)

Letter from MoEF to KSPCB directing them to take necessary action against the Ramky Solid Waste Landfill, Mavallipura,

KSPCB letter dated July 2012 for Mavallipura Ramky Landfill closure

ESG report – Why Phase Out Mavallipura dated October 2009

Press releases by ESG regarding SWM (zip)


Condition of Pourakarmikas:

ESG Representation to BBMP Commissioner (16 April 2020) urging Pourakarmikas are protected from COVID-19 infections by providing them Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) 

Report on Waste to Energy by Hazard Centre, New Delhi

Waste to Energy? by Abhiti Kant & Dunu Roy

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