The garbage crisis facing the city has been in the news for a variety of reasons and it has had its impact on various areas and many businesses.
Commercial Street being one among them and the impact has been huge considering the area's popularity.
JS Chawla, who runs Haryana Handlooms on Dispensary Road claims that in the last 15 years he never imagined that a civic issue would affect his business to this extent.
Pointing at the garbage piled opposite his shop, he says, “It would be an understatement to say that this has affected us or our work. In the last two days, the garbage is being cleared only once during the night that too in such a busy commercial area. Over the last few months, garbage from all over the place is being dumped in front of our shop. And it has made it an unpleasant experience for our customers to shop here. They don’t stay here for more than five minutes.”
Many shopkeepers on that stretch said that the situation worsened in the last few days especially during the festival when the garbage was left unattended for almost five days.
Other than being more vulnerable to the dangers of dengue and other dangerous diseases associated with the garbage, they seem to be equally worried about fewer customers entering their shops over the last few months.
Mustaq Ahmed is another worried shopkeeper who runs a shop on the Narain Pillai road near the Ibrahim street junction.
He claims that his business has taken a beating despite being located at such a prime location. Other than the unhygienic conditions, it is also obstructing traffic and free movement of people. His shop is a few metres away from another heap of garbage. He feels that nobody cares and says that the callousness of the civic authority angers him especially when he sees foreigners click pictures of the heaps of garbage.
“Even if the garbage lorry passes by the road, they don’t clear this spot because they are already full. And we have hardly seen any pourakarmikas cleaning the streets these days,” he says.
The hawkers near the junction also complain that the situation is worse near Lal Masjid where the stench is unbearable and it has worsened during Bakrid. The wet waste lies uncleared and is still out in the open, they claim.
Though Commercial Street is one of the leading shopping centres for the locals, the piled up garbage is cleared once in a day or sometimes lies unattended for days together. Not just the shopkeepers, it is also exposing thousands of customers, who visit the area regularly, to unhygienic conditions.
BBMP Commissioner Rajneesh Goel said that he will immediately issue instructions to the Zonal Commissioner to look into the matter.
He said, "The ward officers concerned should also be informed in case of such complaints. During the festivals, at least 20 lorry loads of garbage is being collected in Shivajinagar and it’s a massive challenge."