Monday, April 27, 2009

Cubbon Park suffering from plastic menace

Cubbon Park suffering from plastic menace

Plastic and other waste piled up to be burnt at Cubbon Park.
NavyaFirst Published : 27 Apr 2009 03:55:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 27 Apr 2009 08:39:21 AM IST
BANGALORE: Even as burning of plastic waste is banned in many parts of the city, Cubbon Park — termed as a lung space in the heart of the city — is not free of this menace. Though the Horticulture Department has appointed contractors to manage waste, burning of waste within the park premises continue on a regular basis. And the accumulated waste includes everything from leftover food, broken tree branches, Tetra Pak products, plastic and glass bottles.
Officials at the Horticulture Department maintain that burning of waste has been strictly banned within the park, but visitors have a different tale to tell. “The burning of waste has been happening for long, polluting the area. We come here to relax, but it is hard to sit and bear the stench,” says Rama, a regular visitor at the park.
According to KJ Jayadev, Deputy Director of Horticulture, waste in the park is removed everyday by the contractors incharge.
“All biodegradable waste collected is used as green manure, while non-biodegradable materials are removed from the area. Burning of waste was banned several years back and since the last two months we are strictly enforcing it,” he said.
The organisations Cubbon Park Mitra Sangha (CPMS) and Saahas, that have been informally handling waste management in Bal Bhavan premises in Cubbon Park, say that lack of infrastructure is the main reason for pollution. There are no facilities to segregate types of waste.
While plastic waste was banned in the park in 2003 as per the Environment (Protection) Act and Wildlife (Protection) Act, the ban has remained on paper only. According to Mohammed, a member of Saahas, the amount of plastic waste here is much higher than biodegradable waste.
“On a weekend day, we collect around 6-8 kg of plastic waste and around 5 kgs of degradable waste in Bal Bhavan premises alone. During fall season, dry leaves contribute to more degradable waste,” he says.
A sorting station to segregate waste set up by CPMS and Saahas is functioning in Bal Bhavan premises, in collaboration with the Bal Bhavan Society. The station has nearly achieved the aim of making Bal Bhavan a zero waste zone. “We make sure that biodegradable waste is used in compost and plastic waste is sent to recyclers. The rest of Cubbon Park can also use the sorting station, but there has been no initiative from the Horticulture Department on this front,” Wilma Rodrigues of Saahas, says.
“Strictly enforcing the ban on plastic is another option. This has been done in many places including Bannerghatta National Park and can be replicated here. Visitors should also ensure that waste is deposited in waste bins,” says Rodrigues.


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