Thursday, October 30, 2008

Post-Diwali, litter bugged

Post-Diwali, litter bugged

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There is more hazardous firecracker litter on the roads after this Diwali with BBMP not making good on its promise to clean up the city after the festival, find Chetana Belagere and Sanchita Sen
As the noise of Diwali crackers subsides, the streets of the city not only appear more drab — they’re also much more dirty. BBMP’s promise to keep the city clean in the days leading to Diwali and afterwards seems an empty one, with litter filling Bengaluru’s roads, making it apparent that the civic staff have taken the holiday mood all too literally.

Just when Bengalureans were congratulating themselves on having found a ‘green way’ to celebrate Diwali, it is becoming apparent that their surroundings have more cracker litter than usual.

This year the city is seeing 20 per cent more garbage post-Diwali than it usually does this time of the year. Cracker debris is seen strewn all around with no sign of the so-called cleaning drive achieving its objective. Just before Diwali, officials of BBMP had announced that a special cleaning drive would be launched ahead of the festival which would extend right up to the day of the celebration. A special meeting was held with regular contractors to instruct them to intensify cleaning during this period. BBMP commis sioner S. Subramanya had said, “Special instructions l have been given to clear all cracker litter from the streets.” But the result has been anything but effective.

While BBMP officers claim the mess is due to the employees going on leave for the festival, people report seeing garbage col lection staff on the streets ignoring the cracker litter strewn around.

“Garbage collectors have been walking up to houses asking for bakshish. They take the garbage away only if they are given Rs 10 or Rs 50, but refuse to clear the litter on the streets,” says Samskriti Chabra, who lives in Indiranagar.

Mr Subramanya promises the litter will be cleared before Thursday as the sweepers will be back to work by then. Their services will be required as crackers will continue to sound in many areas days after the festival. “We will ensure that garbage does not get piled up. We will do our best to prevent pollution, but people too must try not to leave litter around. It would be better if they cleaned up their own mess,” says a BBMP official. “We are trying to do our best because we know dirty streets are not healthy for people living on them,” adds BBMP chief health officer L.T. Gayathri.


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