Another garbage trolley there!
Now to our familiar situation from the past and present.
A gully was not a thoroughfare. Entering a gully was taboo. Thieves chose the gullies because others dared to chase them there! To avoid being caught, a wrongdoer theoretically “ran through gullies and escaped!”
The city was clean even up to around the mid 70s. Plastics were yet to invade (into cleanliness!). Garbage, being organic in nature in those days, never posed a problem because people threw them only into their conservancies. Municipal carts would clear off the garbage periodically. Most of the things decomposed and disintegrated naturally. Garbage was never a public or environment hazard (like it is now) nor presented ugly sights because they were only in conservancies.
With conservancies exploited that way, and with plastics invading every citizen, garbage came on to the streets to public view in large masses as life styles of urbanites also changed by the end of the millennium.
Till the 1970s or 80s, biscuits came in wax coated paper wrappers or tins, many medicines came in glass bottles and confectionery items were usually sold loose. The papers went into the oven, tins and bottles reused in one way or other! As such, waste disposal was minimal in earlier decades. Homes never had a ‘waste bin’, only conservancies! Streets were clean and storm water flowed freely in drains, clean as a whistle! It used to be actually quite a sight to see water gushing in the drains as we played in the rain! There was no plastic to clog them up, like it does and it is a nightmare in low lying areas in the post-plastic era!
You can see how people tear open a packet of supari or chocolate, drop the contents into their mouths and just throw the packet then and there. This is just a small example of bad civic sense and carelessness and their contribution to the problem may look tiny, but on a larger scale, and with bigger things, it is measured in tonnes!
Municipal sweepers sweep up these thrown and strewn off wastes from homes in the locality and to avoid being lifted, are often burnt up at the spot or left alone to form a hill! This is the ugliest sight also, because plastic carry bags, covers and the likes are main contents! Plastic swallowed by straying cattle has resulted in choking in their intestines have also been killed! Burning inorganic wastes is adding poison to the air we breathe and contributing to ‘erratic climate’ on a higher plane. I wonder if a majority of the public are aware of it or not, despite being so much in the news.
BURNING WASTE IN PUBLIC IS A COMMON SIGHT HERE, AS IF BY RIGHT. No wonder the Corporation would get an award for Solid Waste 'Management'!
It is mid day and this "pourakarmkia" who sweeps the area in the morning has just lighted a match to the pile that he created in the morning - the van skips this route on many days!
That is the fire he started. And look at the material.... majority is INORGANIC.
A "pourakarmika" saves his energy... goes back to the garbage truck after starting fire to the pile - 2008 scene on Vani Vilas Road.
Plastic has its great pluses. It is probably the most abused and misused item thus exposing only its minuses. We have reached a stage due to more of our own neglect and some ignorance, when we have to stop (you cannot take a deep breath!) and think about using or accepting plastic and doing it very judiciously. We have also reached a stage we cannot be totally plastic-free. If we have to be strictly so, we cannot buy anything in the market now! Gone are the days when we used to buy our monthly provisions (or whatever, in fact) which were packed in paper covers and fastened by thin jute threads (no staple pins or cello tapes). Sometimes some of the packets used to get damaged in the main bag and it was quite a chore to sort two different materials out, like wheat and dhals or sugar! Paper cones are still in vogue esp. with street vendors that sell various things like peanuts, churumuri, etc.
Cows search for something organic!
I wonder who started this one at 7 pm!
This troubled us for 6 hours and suffocated the residents. Who cares?
That rag picker on the right started the fire and burnt some clothes - synthetic clothes and I requested a neighbourhood boy to put off the fire and smoke that was deadly... Nobody cares!
This is right in front of a nursing home on Vani Vilas Road. That rag-picker is burning a huge pile on the main road pavement... Nobody bothers about those!Go to any gathering, like the ones in homes or to marriage halls (many of them have banned plastic which is heartening to note) and you will find ‘disposable’ plastic cups to serve water etc.
To add to the woes, we now we have inorganic “banana leaves” used to serve food in large gatherings! These are nothing but laminated paper printed like banana leaf – we eat hot food out from the laminated surface! Notebook wrappers are laminated, so are small cartons that we buy so many things in. They are later added to the garbage. We are forced to buy and contribute such poison into the environment.So who is to blame and what is the solution to this great garbage problem? The shopkeeper raises his eyebrows when I refuse to accept his thin carry bag saying I have my own bag! He says that people demand for it even if they have their own bag saying “cannot you give even one small bag?”
Manuvana Park - supposed to degrade into manure - but what are those on top of the pile?!
I sometimes wonder if our citizens (including the administration) have started to think that poisonous air, ugly sight and even stench created by ‘modern day garbage’ are part of the environment. Recently, in November 2009, we heard that Mysore City Corporation got some award for Solid Waste Management! I wonder if it was only for the 10 days of the past Dasara for the “extra effort” it so much publicized. Dubiousness of this award can never be dismissed!
It was evening and this dust bin was on fire.
The Kings of Mysore strived for a very clean city and actually made it with years of great effort because people respected the law and also cooperated and loved the city from their hearts. Such beauty, cleanliness and that genuine spirit seems forgotten and destroyed now…. forever. Has the influx of people from outside have a great role in this, I shudder. There are only a few who can proudly call “My Mysore”!
The garbage we have been creating here in our growing
To close, here are a few conservancies in Chamarajapuram that are now mini streets!
At least, let us hope things will improve in our lifetimes and imitate the West in these things rather than other trivial attractions!