Friday, September 04, 2009

Residents turn vacant sites into garbage dumps

Residents turn vacant sites into garbage dumps

With no maintenance, the sites are weedy and wild infested with rats, snakes, mosquitoes and stray dogs

These 'safe investments' of Non Resident Indians are making life quite unsafe for citizens

Odeal D'Souza. Bangalore

Population pressure has left the city with few vacant spaces and most of them are becoming garbage dumps with no system in place to clear the mounting waste.
One such site is located in T Dasarahalli's Santhosh Nagar. In this quiet layout, a few sites have remained vacant for decades. Apart from the stink raised by mounds of garbage and dead rats, these sites are also infested with parthenium weeds, poisonous snakes and mosquitoes.
Although children love to play in these open spaces, their parents don't allow them.
"This place is not good for residents to stay," said Gaurav P, a resident.
Parthenium weed could cause serious health problems for humans. Repeated contact with the weed and pollen could cause allergic reactions, he said.
Children, who come in contact with it while entering the sites to pick up a ball, may get skin rashes on face and hands.
"A few vacant sites in my area are not fenced. Hence residents freely walk into such sites and dump waste. If they venture out at night for such acts, they may be bitten by a snake or dogs which feast on the food waste. These sites raise a terrible stink. Mosquitoes breed here and invade our homes at night. The civic officials keep ignoring our complaints and we are fed up," said a resident who did not want to be named.
Owners of these vacant sites are least bothered about their maintenance as they live abroad. While these sites are safe investments for NRIs, local residents feel safe in living here.
"Are the authorities waiting for the outbreak of dengue or malaria? Or are they waiting for our children to get bitten by snakes or stray dogs? Although no such cases have occurred till date, it is their responsibility to act fast," Gaurav said. Parents are too scared to let their children on the streets.
"How can I allow my children to play there? One problem is leading to another. Why don't the authorities look into the garbage dumping going on in these vacant sites," said Vaijayanthi, a home maker.
"I wonder why only streets where MLAs and other VIPs stay are free from stray dog and garbage menace," said another resident who did not want to be named.
"Whose fault is it? Not ours. The residents of the area should blame themselves. It's their responsibility to take care of the surroundings. They should dispose garbage properly. There are garbage collectors who go from door to door. Why don't the residents make use of their services? They should stop dumping waste in vacant sites," said a BBMP official who did not want to be named. o_d'


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