Two held for dumping medical waste into Makuta reserve: Cops | Bengaluru - Hindustan Times
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Two held for dumping medical waste into Makuta reserve: Cops

Feb 02, 2023 12:30 AM IST

According to forest officials, the two people were going back to Andhra Pradesh in a mini lorry after unloading goods in Kerala. While returning, the duo collected 15 bags of biowaste from a hospital, which was alleged to be disposed of in the Makuta reserve forest.

The forest officials of the Brahmagiri wildlife division caught two persons dumping 15 bags of medical waste into the Makuta reserve forest on Tuesday at midnight.

The forest officials of the Brahmagiri wildlife division caught two persons dumping 15 bags of medical waste into the Makuta reserve (Agencies/Representative use)
The forest officials of the Brahmagiri wildlife division caught two persons dumping 15 bags of medical waste into the Makuta reserve (Agencies/Representative use)

According to forest officials, the two people were going back to Andhra Pradesh in a mini lorry after unloading goods in Kerala. While returning, the duo collected 15 bags of biowaste from a hospital, which was alleged to be disposed of in the forest.

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The arrested men have been identified as Penchalaiah and Seena, natives of Andhra Pradesh.

“Last week, around 20 bags of garbage were found on the roadside in Makutta reserve forest. The dumping of garbage from Kerala has triggered outrage in social media as the pictures were circulating widely’’ Brahmagiri wildlife range forest officer Dancy Dechamma said.

“Soon after that, we deputed a forest guard to watch the area. While the accused dumped biowaste in the forest at 5.30 pm on Tuesday, the alert forest guards caught both of them,” she added.

The officials seized a Leyland lorry, registered a case under the wildlife protection act 1972 and produced them before the Virajpet JMFC court, which remanded them to judicial custody for 14 days, Dechamma said, adding that the department fixed trap cameras in a few places and would increase the number of cameras soon.

Officials said that based on the information that hospitals in Kerala, bordering Karnataka, are sending waste in lorries to dump in forests after police and forest officers took stringent action against them for dumping in Kerala.

The Makutta Reserve Forest is a part of the pristine Western Ghats and comes under the Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary. It supports fragile biodiversity and has unique eco-sensitive aspects and brings bountiful rains to Kodagu and Kerala.

This part of the Western Ghats supports unique flora and fauna like the Indian Gaur, Sambar Deer, Porcupine, Sloth Bear, Leopard, Pangolin, Nilgiri Tahrs, Civet Cat, Asian Palm Civet, Wild Boars, Wild Dogs, Barking Deer, Nilgiri Monkeys, Langurs, Bonnet Macaque, Lion-tailed Macaque and Elephants.

The Kodagu Rakshana Vedike, a pro-people organization president Achchandira Pavan Pemmaiah told HT that the dumping started on a small scale a year back and now swelled to a large scale due to the negligent attitude of the forest department.

The forest department has a check post at Kodagu –Kerala border, but forest officials did not check vehicles even if it filled with waste. He alleged that the lorry drivers bribed them, so they allows lorries to transport waste.

Pemmaiah urged the forest department to take stringent action against trucks, and mini lorries transporting biomedical waste and send them back to Kerala itself from check posts. He also warned of severe agitation if the department allows waste lorries to ply in the forest in future.

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