Careless and Casual about Kachra

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 08 May 2017 14:00:00

Staff Reporter,

PLASTIC, paper, brokentiles, discards, wastes, rusted bars, smelly rugs, used clothes, rubble, rotten vegetables, and rubbish of tall claims of a ‘Clean Nagpur’ are seen strewn at various corners of the city.

When someone notices the fil that the corners,all these salient features of the failure of ‘bin-freecity’ are seen adorning the open plots, public utility lands, unattended open space in any locality. It appears that all these features have become ingrained in the city’s personality.

It appears so because of the habit of the people in disposing of garbage in the surroundings while keeping their own yard or shop or office clean. It appears so because of the habitual neglect of the elected representatives. Against this backdrop, it did not come as a surprise or shock that Nagpur slipped from 20th last year to 137th rank in ‘Swachh Survekshan’ this year. When the headlines in newspapers screamed this loudly, it indicated utter failure of the civic authorities.

Failure? Yes. For, not being able to climb the ladder of success on various parameters, and not being able to even keep up the previous performance, is nothing but failure. This failure is visible in the form of garbage piled up everywhere in this ‘bin-free city’. By the way, implementation of the concept of ‘bin-free city’ has done only one thing -- garbage bins placed at public places previously have vanished.

Sadly,this has not resulted in garbage getting vanished from many public places. There are several dense localities that have mixed composition -- business establishments ,shops, corporates, independent houses and bungalow sand appartments,shanties, marriage halls. By removing garbage bins, Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has done a great job. For, this has provided the insensitive people an opportunity to turn every other unattended corner or space or plot into an open garbage dump.

So, papers from corporates, waste from shops, unsegregated garbage from households, and food and other waste from marriage halls, all are getting dumped at the nearest open-yet-unattended space available. Obviously,the stenchemanating from such places -- even in the posh localities -- makes its presence felt.

This stench, by the way, is not only of rotting material at these open dumps. This stench, is also of the conspiracy hatched together by the careless people andcasual city fathers --tomalignthe image of the city that boasts of being the Second Capital of Maharashtra and a potential national capital. A big example of this conspiracy is the big garbage dump near Rahate Colony Square along Wardha Road, hidden very craftily behind the blue tin-walls. A peep behind the tin-walls reveals the filthy underbelly of how the city of Nagpur ‘manages’ its garbage.

The garbage collected from various places is dumped ina huge quantity there. Some people work there to pluck the ‘saleable’ pieces, and machines work there to carry there main der to Bhandewadi dumping yard. What was once a small unattended corner where people from nearby area used to dump garbage, has now grown to the extent that a compound wall behind has been demolished to make way for accomodating the city’s filth.

So brazen is the collective disregard of the city towards cleanliness that even under a board put up by NMC advising not to dump garbage, people drop exhibits of their carelessness. May it be Dhantoli, Gokulpeth, Ramnagar, Kachipura, Ramdaspeth or any other part of the city, scene is more or less the same. There are corporators and civic authorities who also must share a bigger part of the blame. For, they are the people who have failed collectively in providing an able civic leadership that can inspire people to join hands and do something to change the cityscape forthebetter.

The civic administration also has to take blame for utterly casual approach of its officials in dealing with this. And, the society they come from also has to take the blame for failure in providing community leadership towards the common goal of making Nagpur a ‘Clean City’. Will this change? That is a million dollar question. Nanda Jichkar, the newly elected Mayor of the city, once said that she would change the situation.

However,that statement of hers left a billion dollar question -- How? The answerto this question is very important. Because, so far, there has not been any credible evidence to suggest that change is actually taking place. Instead, the ‘Swachh Survekshan’ provided credible evidence that the city is slipping on cleanliness ranking. Of course, the ‘Swachh Survekshan’ also covers another aspect of cleanliness -- open defecation free status.

On this count also, Nagpurhas failed.For,often,people are seen defecating in the open -- along the railway tracks, behind the bushes, on abandoned plots. Garbage and open defecation pose two major challenges to the cleanliness of the city. But,the challengeof all challenges is tomake the administration more efficient, ask elected representatives and city fathers to present before the people a model of civic leadership, and inspire people to become ambassadors of cleanliness and display community leadership. With the city growing in political stature as well as in economic activities, these are the things to be done on an urgent basis.