Heaps of trash raise a stink

Heaps of trash  raise a stink

Even though oodles of trash spreads itself across the road and the smell of rot hangs in the air, pedestrians and passers-by can do nothing but hold their breath in the hope of making a quick cross. Areas like Wind Tunnel Road, Murugeshpalya  and Madiwala Market are just a few such locations that have turned cripple because of a lack of efficiency.

It doesn’t take long to spot the piles of garbage carelessly dumped in front of the Air Force Station in Murugeshpalya and this goes unattended by the BBMP officials for days. However, it’s not just the pedestrians who are affected; shopkeepers and residents of the area are constantly breathing this polluted air. The garbage piles act as shelter to numerous pests, flies and bacteria, which are then consumed by stray animals who are in search of leftovers.

Mohammad Yakhub, a shop owner in Murugeshpalya , says, “We face a lot of issues, both health and otherwise; there is always a bad smell that lingers in the air throughout the day. Even customers complain about the smell and this is definitely hampering my business. People walk past in hurry to avoid the smell, thereby avoiding my shop. All the shopkeepers in the area have complained to the BBMP authorities, many times, but it looks like they are not taking the matter seriously. They are very irregular when it comes to cleaning the mess.”

The BBMP garbage trucks clean the waste in the morning but by evening, it’s back to its original state. “I do not know about the other areas but here, campaigns to clean the City are not working,” Yakhub adds. A bakery owner, Jitesh, explains, “We are certainly facing difficulties; it is very risky because we are running a food business so there is always a question pertaining to the hygiene of the food we sell. People are skeptical to come and buy food from our shop because of the stench. We are trying hard to maintain cleanliness in our shop but the stink always has the upper hand. The shopkeepers nearby and I have complained to the BBMP authorities but we don’t see a permanent solution.”

The problem is not that the garbage isn’t cleared by the municipalities but that there are no fixed garbage dumping areas. Jitesh further says, “The garbage that is dumped here is not just waste from houses, but also from all over Murugeshpalya , KR Garden and areas of Vimanapura; waste from different restaurants, houses and meat shops are dumped here. There was a proposal given to us to  build a concrete bin where people can dump their household waste but we won’t approve it as it is not a permanent solution. Unless it is a take-away dustbin that is moved once it is full, we won’t agree to it. Once the monsoon arrives, the BBMP vehicle will not come regularly to clean the garbage and it will just lie there for days.”This area has become the garbage collection point of Murugeshpalya , and there are small autos that come and dump more waste, after the BBMP garbage trucks have finished their collection. This routine ultimately makes people believe that the place is for dumping their household wastes as they have no alternative.

Krishna, a resident of Murugeshpalya , shares,“We cannot open our doors and windows because of the stink. All the animal waste, shop and residential waste get dumped here. They can probably shift the dumpyard to an empty place where there is nothing nearby.” Residents feel that garbage trucks can collect the garbage from the households once every morning instead of dumping it in the open. “I am a tenant here and I am moving out of the house because of this problem,” adds Krishna. Madiwala is yet another area where piles of garbage can be found scattered on the entire stretch of the market area. There are rotten vegetables and flowers being dumped on the divider and also in front of many shops. This careless attitude leaves a terrible stench in the area and makes for an unhygienic space for vendors, customers and passers-by.

A frequent bus traveller, Hari, exclaims, “It is difficult for people like us, who have to wait to catch a bus, especially during rainy days, when the stink of the garbage gets  stronger. Also, people urinate near the walls of the Madiwala Bus Stand.”

As usual, the BBMP garbage truck comes to clean the waste in the morning, but that does not solve the problem. There are no permanent spots alloted to the vendors to dump their waste, so they pile it wherever they find a place.

   A vendor at Madiwala says, “It is difficult for us to stand here all day because of the stink, but we don’t have a choice. Ultimately, all the vegetable and flower waste gets dumped in front of most of the shops. It is a market place so we cannot do much about it. The truck comes to collect the waste every morning but by afternoon it is the same as before.” Despite constant complaints, nothing has been done in these areas.

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