BANGALORE: J P Nagar, one of the popular residential areas in South Bangalore, has been in the news time and again for its garbage woes. And now it seems as if the gods are also not spared from this problem, as the latest target is a temple! The 150-year-old Sri Veeranjaneya Swamy Temple in JP Nagar 5th Phase has now become a dump yard. It has large grounds and the premises are neatly fenced. But still people manage to throw garbage into the temple.
Shyamanna, the temple priest, is extremely disheartened with this behavior, and says, “This temple was built by my great grandfather and since then, our family has been taking care of it. It was beautiful once, but now because of the lack of civic sense among people, it has become dirty. It could very well be one of the worst temples around here. People just throw garbage wherever they please without thinking. A temple is a place of worship, not a place to throw waste. I can’t believe people lack the sense to understand this.”
Apparently, the lack of a proper waste management system in the area is the reason for this situation.
“People come in their cars or bikes, throw the waste and just zoom away. It’s not just the uneducated domestic helpers or labourers. This is the mindset of the so called literate people in this city”, says the priest.
Efforts have been made to take action against those littering the place, but the temple doesn’t seem to be getting enough support from the government. Shyamanna says, “We have spoken to the BBMP and the local corporator too, but they are just not helping.”
The foul-smelling garbage also seems to attract further problems. Cows enter the premises and start feeding on the waste, which has turned the temple into an eyesore. Shanthi, a regular visitor to the temple, says that there have been efforts made by the devotees to create awareness among the public to stop throwing garbage here. However, she says that all efforts have gone in vain.
“We have conducted many awareness rallies, but people are not cooperating. We have done all that we can,” she says.
Abdulla Farooq, a resident, says, “I do not visit the temple but I have been living in this area for a very long time. Despite belonging to another faith, I do know that the temple is a sacred place for the Hindus. What I don’t understand is how people can even think of throwing garbage here. To me this seems like a very heinous act.”
Ramachandra S, a retired teacher who visits the temple often, says that he is worried about the diseases that can spread because of piling up of garbage. “I have a two-year-old grandson and he always wants to come along when I go out. How can I bring him here? This place stinks. What if the child gets sick?”
Not just children, adults too are at the risk of contracting diseases if exposed to such dirty surroundings on a daily basis.
When contacted, Mayor Shanthakumari said that this issue was unknown to her and now that the matter has been brought to her notice, she will take strict action against the people littering the premises.