Instead of hanging out at Gandhinagar in Guajrat and thinking that the cleanliness drive is on track, the Prime Minister needs to come and take a walk around Gandhinagar in Bangalore. Though not in the central business district, it is located in the busy commercial area of Majestic which has traditionally been the trading centre of the city. But the smells, of late, can beat any drain in their potency. The rotting garbage and the filth accumulated everywhere is enough to turn the stomach and most people’s easy acceptance of it makes one wonder whether there can ever really be a Swacha Bharat.
PS: I remember a couple of years ago the BBMP(Bangalore Corporation) had insisted upon segregation of garbage by everyone. My building diligently insisted that all the flat owners comply and we kept separate containers for collection. The BBMP truck, however, would come and empty all the containers in the same truck every morning. So after a while, we just gave up.
LL: For whatever it is worth we still continue to segregate out of sheer habit.
PS: That just goes to prove that the citizens can develop the habit but the BBMP needs to do its bit as well. People who are willing to make the effort should also be encouraged.
LL: Which is why we should eat more often in New Krishna Bhavan (in Malleshwaram), not only does it give a taste of old Bangalore but also because it is a low waste restaurant.
PS: I know, they say they have a simple system of managing their waste disposal by giving to piggeries, composting and sending dry waste for recycling to collection centres. The ash generated from briquetted solid fuel is sent to composting centres for mixing with manure. As a result only 5 per cent of the waste generated by them is sent to the landfill.
LL: In this country, self help makes more sense than believing that the government and the corporation will take care of you.
PS: I heard that earlier they had to pay substantial amounts per month to have the waste collected. All it takes is a little bit of perseverance and organisation to reduce the cost and be environmentally aware.
LL: Yes, but how many people think it is important or even that what they do as individuals will make a difference?
PS: Very few actually. I remember once a brand new Audi stopping at the traffic light next to my rather ordinary car. Before I had even had a chance to admire it, the man sitting in the back seat rolled down his window and casually threw an empty biscuit packet onto the road before the car revved off. It totally ruined the brand image of his snazzy car in my opinion.
LL: Diwali is upon us and everyone will burst crackers but no one will clear up after themselves. And very few will worry about the air pollution or the noise; the effect it is going to have on the few birds remaining in the city…
PS: Or the effect on the dogs. Not only the noise but that they may pick up the cracker paper left everywhere, with the gunpowder on it and fall sick. All these things count for very little.
Just a request to anyone reading this – Please be aware at all times and particularly during Diwali of the effect on your surroundings of all that you do and particularly on the non-human life around you. Make a wish to want to be swacha.