An unholy mess

Ugly premises

An unholy mess

The old-world charm of Malleswaram is legendary. It is not just known for its old eateries that churn out crispy golden ‘dosas’ and tangy chutney, but for temples like Kadu Malleshwara, Nandeeshwara Teertha Temple, Sri Circle Maramma and Kadu Mallikarjunaswamy that speak of Dravidian architecture. While the walls of these ancient temples revel in a rich history, the roads and spaces near them reek of garbage.

The area in front of Sri Circle Maramma Temple, which is adjacent to Indian Institute of Science and located in 18th Cross, Malleswaram, is filthy. The saying ‘cleanliness is next to godliness’ doesn’t hold true here as garbage is dumped by residents and temple officials. Dry flowers, food items, dry wood, plastic and other non-degradable waste materials are thrown near the temple.

The temple, which houses the village goddess Maramma, is crowded on Tuesdays and Fridays. While several devotees visit the temple on a regular basis, they ignore the mess, which poses a health threat. Despite several devotees raising their voice against this mess, the ‘noises’ seem to have fallen on deaf ears.

Nikita, a student of Cluny Convent High School, says she had accompanied her mother to the temple.

“The garbage has been lying around for a long time now and smells very unpleasant. This needs to be cleared as many devotees come here on a regular basis. The garbage comes from the people who consume the ‘prasad’ that is offered at the temple and throw the plastic wrapper outside carelessly. People need to be educated about cleanliness,” she says.

Volunteers at the temple say that the garbage comes from various places apart from the temple premises. People from nearby areas  dump their waste as the BBMP vehicles do not make frequent rounds in their area. “We serve food from 3 pm to 5 pm everyday to our devotees. To cook food, we use the wood which is required for that particular day and leave the remaining outside the temple. But people from other localities dump garbage, in spite of us warning them. Also, the BBMP truck visits 18th Cross everyday at 9 am to clean up the mess but we have noticed that it cannot carry the entire waste. So it is not cleared until the next day,” says Nagaraj, one of the volunteers at the temple.

The Kadu Mallikarjunaswamy Temple, which is located on the busy Sampige Road, is one of the oldest temples in the City. The road sees several walkers and shoppers dumping garbage carelessly.

There is a bus stand right opposite the temple. Students from nearby institutions, who wait for the bus everyday, keep hoping that the garbage will be cleared someday.

“We called the BBMP and asked them to clear the garbage on a timely basis. They say that they clear it every morning but the place is dirty by afternoon,” says
Ashwini, a student of MES College of Arts, Commerce and Science.

It seems like there is no solution to this mess. But regular visitors and students suggest that bins be strategically placed on every street as that will prevent the spilling over of garbage.

“There is no proper mechanism to address the garbage problem in the City. Although we have segregation plants, a majority of people, including the ‘pourakarmikas’, are not aware of segregation. Hence, when you look at the garbage, you see mixed waste. Educating people and placing degradable and non-degradable bins are essential to reduce the spillover and spread of illnesses,” says Vinayak, a senior citizen who has been living in the locality for over 15 years.

The area around Nandeeshwara Teertha Temple, another historic temple in 17th Cross, Malleswaram, is another example. This is also a very busy area. Though the temple is a landmark destination in Malles­wa­ram, the unpleasant sight near it has left many disappointed.

The garbage just near the temple reflects a stark reality. The problem becomes worse in these areas during rains as the garbage mixes with water leaving an even bigger mess.

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