Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Namma Mysooru Nirmala Mysoora?

[The accompanying pictures have been taken fresh as well as from my few-months-old files.]

"Nirmala Mysooru". We want that, but it seems a long way away. Just look at the problem-scenes near one of the more important roads and its crosses in as important a locality as Lakshmipuram, just outside the precincts of our home that faces Vani Vilas Road, just for an example. If such things can be here, that can be everywhere. And they are! Whom to blame? The authorities or the public, or both? I list below some common problems that the residents of our house face day in and day out and not other houses, because they are the careless contributors to the filth and unhygeine. We have to suffer for no fault of ours!

Garbage clearance, garbage burning - a burning problem:Elderly pourakarmika lighting fire to his small swept up heap - there are bigger heaps, often! He is unafraid of complaints and says on my asking 'who has asked you to burn them', he says "they only have told me, you go!"

The corner of Lakshmipuram I main and I cross is a 'popular' place where all manner of dirt and waste are thrown. The generators of such waste are the nearby homes, with the exception of ours. It is mostly the 'elite' who generate lots of plastic waste and their servants dump dump at that place. Some are instructed by their owners to light a match and burn them and if not, some rag-picker or scavengers that loiter around burns it. This happens at any time. Frequently, the corporation pourakarmikas also do this to their swept up heap to avoid getting cleared by the garbage truck. The garbage truck sometimes picks up the heap and they are happy to see the ash pile of burnt waste! Automobile shops throw waste electric wires which are collected by the rag pickers who burn off the plastic insulation to get copper wire which they sell off in gujaris. They do this adjacent to our compound wall by using thermocole and other plastic waste as fuel to burn! The usual garbage heap that goes for regular burning contains thermcole, disposed plastic covers, pet bottles, cotton pillows, sponge wastes, rexine waste pieces (from nearby upholstery shops), dry leaves, mowed off lawn, shrub branches, waste chemical powder [from a manufacturer next to the place] and all the dirt one can imagine. Often, cleaning and removal by the authorities is superficial. Early morning, the garbage truck clears the heap in the morning. But most of the problem begins after that. The servants visit their owners for work later and they do the 'disposal' at their own times which goes on till night. So they burn at any time!! Who are the sufferers? Our house residents. All the smoke that rise from there is carried by the breeze into our house and it keeps on burning for hours together and we have to keep inhaling the deadly smoke. As such burning of waste is poisonous to humans and also the environment. The 'elite', the rag-pickers, the pourakarmikas or the servants are not bothered about it [because they are not affected!] even if they are aware or unaware. I suggested shifting the dustbin [earlier there was one] to a location about 100 feet further westwards (which would be behind Sawday House) as the most suitable place considering the problems it is creating from its corner location, esp, to our premises. Many times, I have carried water all the way round and poured it on burning material. The garbage truck no doubt, picks up, but may be too early in the day and that too not every day -because they find only ash the next morning if they come!
This is in the evening. I asked my neighbour to pour water to the fire - fabrics and cotton, plastic and wood! Notice the rag-picker sorting his find - from the dustbin [now removed, but open for throwing around!]
Taken in th afternoon. The heap was burning/fuming for more than 2 hours and nobody cares!
This is on the other side of our house on Vani Vilas Road - another regular scene, right in front of a Nursing Home!
A big heap of uncleared plastic, fallen flowers paper and many materials ready for burning. Someone fired it.
We get to know only after the heap is fired and the smoke enters our house and that is when I run to see who did it, but no one is in sight. If I suspect anyone (though I know he/she did it) and ask, the answer is "I did not fire it."
This is on a different day - some coir, rubber, rexine, sponge, cotton - obviously from an upholstery shop, added to the already lying pile of waste and put on fire. That was deadly smoke and it was fuming for 5 hours. I had to put water from a pail eventually! Sometimes it fumes all night!

Footpath vendors: A mobile tea/food item vendor operates everyday. Water from washing used utensils along with left over food particles are thrown on the footpath making the area constantly wet, foul smelling and attracting flies. The customers have erected stone benches at convenient places that is being used by others also for other things that disturbs peace to residents of our house, besides unhygeinic conditions that affects mostly us. Aerial view of the vendors from our first floor -observe the sitting benches, etc.Preparing to leave after a day's work - look at the washed water in the foreground with footsteps, near our compound wallWaste water disposing by the vendor before closing time.

Storm water drain: The existing storm water drain adjacent to our compound was cleared of accumulated mud (from various digging works over the years) last year but it was only done in the stretch along the compound wall up to the corner facing Vani Vilas Road. This has a dead end where storm water and urine passed by numerous passers by gets accumulated in this. It has become a great breeding place for mosquitoes and a great nuisance with foul smell. Added to it, in spite of my protest, some lorry heaped a full load of rubble on to our compound wall facing the Vani Vilas Road. The stagnating water from that dead-end drain and this rubble which absorbs moisture is putting our compound wall in danger. The existing drain running at the base of our compound wall facing the Vani Vilas Road has been completely filled up from the digging work over the years and all the dirt and dirty water gets accumulated in front of our gates, due to the rise nearly two feet in the level of old "footpath" which is nothing but rubble, weed and dirt. The area where the food vendor operates has rain water and also his dish-washed water stagnating right on the asphalted road because of faulty sloping, a haven for mosquitoes and filth. Look at the slush in the storm water drain, after a rain - the far end has a dead end!!
This is the lorry emptying debris to our compound facing Vani Vilas Road despite my protest.

Plastic: All the sun screen radium sticker shops close by, use the area of the footpath near our premises for their work and all the torn and unwanted plastic pieces are strewn around at the place of work which flies around everywhere in the wind and even enters our premises. Not to mention the banned plastic covers that 'join the party'!
Notice the worker sticking plastic to the car window.

Urination: The walls esp. facing either side of the I main road was a virtual open toilet at both day and night [affected from the nearby bar]. While renovating our compound wall 'God-image tiles' were used and a good majority of urinators have shifted to the opposite side wall that is not of a house. Yet, stink emanating from hundreds of urinators at the same place is nauseating and unbearable. Ours is the only house on this small stretch of road and we are the only sufferers!
Just a few of the pissing rascals.

When I went to the area corporator some time back, I was told that they were 'uncontrollable' problems, including urination!! They want house tax in time, they want votes from us! What do we get? Filth and poisonous smoke. And they talk of making Mysooru Nirmala.
I have seen such things happen in many areas of the city also. People, both the literate and illeterate resort to burning of waste material. People write in the papers to sort out garbage at the micro level itself before disposing off outside, but then it wont work. Because, the rag-pickers and those who loiter around open up and strew the contents around searching for their items of interest! The only solution is to ban throwing out any sort of garbage outside homes, but to dispose off only in containers directly to the garbage vehicle, which is not functioning in our locality.
Do not believe the advertisements that say Mysore is a garden city -- it was, decades back. It is now a garbage city and I'm not ashamed to tell this, having seen both the pre and post plastic eras. Things have changed under my very nose! But I hope the tables turn around.
What do we do now? Do the authorities want to educate the pourakarmikas, rag-pickers, slum dwellers, public, the so called elite, the literates, illiterates and everybody and strictly instruct them about the hazards of burning, importance of clean environment, about greenhouse gases, global warming....? Just a few persons write in the papers.. sounds nice to read, but read by just a small majority. It is the impact that is necessary and it has to come only from the relevant authority with a bang. The public must have an attitude to be responsible for keeping public spaces clean and neat. Without public cooperation, such things will only spread and become worse.

A few more shots:
Politician's temporary hoarding right in front of our premises: Later, the stumps of the two poles were left posing danger to pedestrians!! Looks beautiful, eh??

Vehicle-washing right in front of our gate: the vehicle belonging to a travel agency across the road is parked for long hours on the cross road.


ER Ramachandran said...

Great compilation of pictures to show how a supposedly heritage and Tourist city is on the way to becoming one of the dirtiest cities if not the dirtiest - Thanks to our officials guarding the city!


Bungle Bee said...

sixty one years of INDEPENDENCE has instilled this sense of unfettered Freedom to do anything anywhere. For too long now our netas have preached and practiced this sort of freedom. It has gone is beyond the powers of even these people now. Silver lining is that the younger generations seem ore informed about their sense of duty

C S Subramanian

Dinakar KR said...

My friend Bungle Bee gave me this interesting link. Can we dream of such a thing here?