Bengaluru, like any metro, is a city of extremes. You will find the most luxurious and posh settings here but you will also find squalor in ample. But one thing that is common throughout the landscape, is the menace of unpicked, undisposed garbage, which marrs even the most well to do areas.
From MG Road, to Whitefield, to Koramangala, to Hebbal - it is not difficult to spot heaps of garbage on nooks and under some the trees on the otherwise clean streets. But who must be held responsible for it?
Near Central Mall on MG Road
The responsibility of collecting trash does falls on the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar Palike (BBMP). Its Waste Management department is responsible for collecting, segregating and dumping the trash in the landfills.
But the heaps rotting and stinking garbage in residential as well as commercial areas are testimony to the fact that there is a serious lapse on part of the government authorities when it comes to waste collection.
There is a thread titled âBBMP Garbage Collectionâ on National Consumer Complaint Forum, where you can see plenty of people protesting about the waste in their area not having been collected for days together.
There are also numerous complaints about the BBMP staff being ârudeâ and asking for money from people for collecting the waste. This has compelled many to hire private entities who collect waste from households, small shops and other places in an area.
Take Church Street for instance. A stroll down the busy street, which houses multiple eating joints and pubs, is enough to make one realize the acute problem it faces in terms of undisposed garbage.
Manoj, a juice shop owner at on Church Street, has tied up with a private entity to pick up waste from his as well as nearby shops. âWe have our own garbage collector, which is not the BBMP. They collect the waste from our shop and the neighbouring ones every day and dispose it off,â he told TNM.
On Museum road, the owner of a dessert joint âGustovitaâ, Mohan, told TNM that they have had their waste picked up and disposed off through a private player for several years now. âEven if there is garbage on the road, they collect it,â he said.
Some residents of the city also allege that while the BBMP officials do come to collect waste and trash in their area, but the truck and officials are there for too short a period.
Ashish Awasthi, a resident of Chokkasandra said, âThe BBMP van comes everyday but they do not wait for the people to get their trash bins to give them. The truck halts for a very short period of time. This is the reason people have started to put garbage on the road.â
Near Manyata Tech Park, on Outer Ring Road
Sujatha, a resident of Ramamurthy Nagar complained about another problem â no dumpsters to dispose garbage in the area. âThere are no dumpsters to throw the garbage in the vicinity. So people leave them out on the streets, and the BBMP doesnât bother to rectify this. The drivers of the van and the collector ask for money from us to take garbage,â she said.
But are the government authorities alone to be blamed?
KS Sridhar, President of the Rajajinagar Resident Welfare Association said, âCleanliness is the responsibility of all the stake holders. BBMP, residents, associations, all have to work towards it. People should learn to segregate waste and to wait for the BBMP van in order to dispose the trash. Disposing it on the street wonât help anyone.â
Joe George, a resident of Greenpark Enclave, informs that people in his locality habitually dump garbage in shrubs and some unoccupied property in the area. âAs there are plants, itâs difficult to see the garbage until there is a heap. The people are not civilised enough to wait for the BBMP van and then dispose off the garbage,â he said.
âIt would also be a help, if the BBMP could conduct a cleanliness drive in this area given that it rains frequently and rotting garbage can pose many health hazards for the residents,â he added.
TNM tried to contact BBMP representatives but did not receive a response.