Monday, May 28, 2007

Bins? Nah, feel free to dump garbage anywhere

Bins? Nah, feel free to dump garbage anywhere
Monday May 28 2007 09:21 IST

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BANGALORE: Don’t get me wrong, I love the place - however, despite all the plazas, restaurants and bars that make Bangalore a fantastic city, it has another striking element - garbage.

In the gutters it flows, on the pavements it grows - in fact just about everywhere you look, the ground is afflicted with rotting matter.

The city is treated like a landfill site. Litter is discarded on floor without a hesitation and where it collects in heaps on street corners, passers-by assist its decomposition with their own, human waste.

I was shocked until I realised I hadn’t seen a single bin anywhere. I’ve been told that garbage bins once roamed free about the city.

They were much larger than the tame, domesticated ones in use today, and revelled in their garbage collecting responsibilities.

These wonderful creatures were sadly mistreated, neglected to such an extent that they overflowed and became hazardous and unappealing.

I spoke to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Joint Commissioner (Health) B V Kulkarni, to find out what had happened to the garbage bins?

‘‘A decision was taken in 2000 to remove them,’’ he said. ‘‘In their place we now have a regular garbage collection service’’ (the one that was holding the city to ransom). I asked him then, what were pedestrians to do with their rubbish without bins to dispose of? His response was simple - ‘‘where there are no bins the rubbish can be collected from the street.’’

Now forgive me if I am missing a vital link in this brilliant strategy (which costs Rs 90 crore a year) but it seems the BBMP’s logic is tragically flawed. Without bins on the street, no matter how regular the domestic collection, there is nowhere the litter can go. The fine for littering is negligible and almost impossible to enforce. So inevitably the garbage mounds will grow higher.

The BBMP is not trying to solve the problem, it is merely reacting to it, isn’t it time the BBMP cleaned up its act and brought the faithful garbage bins back? I put this to the Joint Commissioner, he declined to comment.


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