HYDERABAD: Unveiling an unique protest against garbage disposal at the upmarket Banjara Hills, slum dwellers in an adjoining basti on Sunday morning took out a rally carrying bag full of garbage and even strewed it at the gates of several houses.
Raising a fundamental question if ‘Swachh Bharat’ is only for the richer and affluent section of the society, the slum dwellers of Ambedkar Nagar, Banjara Basti at Banjara Hills paraded through Road number 11 shouting that the rich and influential should take back their garbage and do not litter the nala as a means of waste disposal.
The basti is tucked away in the plush locales of Banjara Hills and lies adjacent to a nala. A year ago the municipal authorities had visited the nala and taken measures to fence it so as to prevent littering into the nala and also prevent children of slum dwellers from falling in it. As many as nine incidents of children falling in the nala had happened, it is learnt.
However, even after a fence was erected, a BT road was laid in the basti and a worker was employed to collect garbage every morning, still the livability has not improved. The reason, the dwellers point out that letting of garbage and sewerage into the nala from the residential buildings on the other side of the nala is spoiling the area.
The wall on the other side of the nala is already damaged due to continuous inflow of sewerage, they point out. Aliya Khatoon, an advisor to the Basti Vikas Manch, explained that the protest resulted from failure of earlier attempts to sensitise the residents on the other side. “We want to sensitise the rich that these slum dwellers have stopped doing anything that spoils the nala. They know since they live adjacent to the nala, they would be responsible for its condition,” she said, adding “we started to return the garbage to its original owners’”.
Residents of houses overlooking Banjara lake, Dawood Jung Valley society on Road number 11 and other apartments, were in a state of shock by the protest as they claimed that slum dwellers were creating nuisance to them.
“Is this some kind of a joke? We are extremely particular about cleanliness and hygiene of our locality. We ensure that our garbage is taken to the GHMC bin on the main road every day,” said a visibly annoyed young man from one of the houses.