BENGALURU: Shakuntala M works as a housemaid in Ejipura and lives in a brick house. All was well, until recently, the plot around her house became a dumping ground and she had to send her 10-month-old daughter to her sister’s place to avoid the stink and probable infection and disease.
Shakuntala has been living in the house for seven years, but when the garbage that was about nine yards away, was cleaned by a volunteer group, another garbage dump emerged right in her backyard. “The smell is foul and it’s unbearable in my home. Rats and rodents are all over the rooms. I had to send my 10-month old child to my sister’s house. I have tried complaining,” says Shakuntala.
The same garbage dump has been causing problems for Kevin’s Kitchen, a small but thriving eatery on Rama Temple Road. “Ever since this garbage dump came up, our sales have dipped by 50% and we will be shutting down soon,” says Basil Buntee Rapheal, owner of the restaurant. Three months back, they used to have a daily average sale of Rs 15,000 and above, now, it has come down to barely Rs 8,000. Residents around the area complain of foul odour and litter on the road. About four katha of land buried in a heap of garbage has dogs and cows wandering around it, which also adds to the traffic in the lane.
Garbage shifting trend growing
Youth for Parivarthan, a spot-fixing NGO that has beautified 119 landmarks around the city, has observed this garbage dump shifting trend growing. “When we fix one spot, it is guaranteed that the garbage will shift to another spot,” says Amit Amarnath, founder of the organisation. “Nothing is going to happen until and unless the BBMP does something about the current garbage picking system,” Amit adds.
Residents have observed similar shiftng garbage in areas including Adugodi and Vasanth Nagar. Garbage that is moved for construction work and business operations also manifest in a spot nearby.
Chitra Venkatesh, a resident of Kumara Park West, says that a dump on Railway Parallel Road had been stinking for years and residents were told that the since the spot was a lorry loading point, nothing could be done. But when an eatery sprang up, the area was cleared and the garbage was littered on to other streets.
Solution is 90% civic sense, 10% enforcement: BBMP
BBMP joint commissioner of health and sewage waste management, Sarfaraz Khan, says that this is a serious issue and that the BBMP’s garbage collection is compromised on most days because of work timings of the citizens. “As of now, the system is a door-to-door collection system, and about 800 collectors are not able to do 3-4 rounds a day,” he says. However, by next month, the BBMP is going to introduce ‘Transfer Station’, a box for solid waste management, which he says is going to guarantee visual cleanliness to Bengaluru.
Boxes will be put up in various wards for droping-off of garbage, which will then be compressed. “A garbage-free area comes when there is 90% civic sense, and 10% enforcement,” adds Sarfaraz. He points out that despite keeping dustbins, litter is thrown outside of the bin rather than in it. Amarnath agrees, and says that even when it comes to this new introduction of boxes, there should be a BBMP official to monitor that the garbage is thrown inside the bin and not around it.