Thursday, January 28, 2010

It started as a residents’ initiative success

It started as a residents’ initiative success

Staff Reporter


Bangalore: Door-to-door garbage collection started as a residents’ initiative, perhaps for the first time in the city, in 1995 in Mahalakshmipuram, which is part of Mahalakshmi Layout constituency.

The initiative was started by the West of Chord Road Residents’ Welfare Association when it was a norm in the city to dump garbage in bins at streets.

“Garbage bins were a public nuisance. The bins would remain uncleared for weeks and all waste would be strewn around them,” said Sushila Vasudeva Rao, president of the association.

“We started door-to-door garbage collection to put an end to the practice of dumping waste in the bins.”

The association roped in five rag-pickers, including three women, for the task. They were given training and provided uniform, safety equipment and pushcarts. “First we had to create awareness among people about the benefits of door-to-door garbage collection and segregation of waste. The local corporator supported us in this endeavour,” said Ms. Rao.

Each of the five workers was assigned the task of collecting garbage from 100 houses in the locality. A monthly fee of Rs. 10 was collected from each household and the money was used for paying salary to the workers.

A year later, the RWA, in association with a private company, set up a compost pit in a wasteland under high-tension power lines in the locality.

However, the compost pit became defunct after a park was developed under the power lines in 2004.

“In 2007, we handed over the task of garbage collection to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) which, in turn, assigned the task to a contractor,” Ms. Rao said, and lamented that segregation of waste never happens at the collection point.

The Mahalakshmi Layout constituency boasts 45 parks. Stretches of waste land under high-tension power lines and along water supply pipelines have been developed into beautiful parks with a variety of plants, walking track, children’s play areas, waterfalls, and solar lighting.

MLA Narendra Babu, who has put in place an effective grievance redressal system, has a website for the people to contact him.

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