Garbage piles up on streets as civic workers go canvassing

Garbage piles up on streets as civic workers go canvassing

Days after Bengaluru was declared the cleanest capital in India, garbage is piling up on the City’s streets. Reason? Pourakarmikas (civic workers) and garbage collectors are skipping work to make a fast buck by taking part in election campaigns.

The problem is more acute in areas under erstwhile CMCs and TMC which were added to Bengaluru in 2007. Garbage is piling up on the roadside and inside apartment complexes.
Savithramma, a pourakarmika in Dasarahalli, said she was being paid Rs 250-300 a day for canvassing for candidates in the upcoming BBMP elections. “I’ve been going there for the last few days. Party workers pick me up from home and drop me back. I also got a sari and three square meals.”

Residents say garbage hasn’t been cleared for several days. “As it’s the rainy seasons, uncleared garbage is likely to attract dogs, cattle and rodents,” said Sonu S, a resident of Sunkadakatte, Magadi Road. The garbage collector tasked with clearing waste from the locality is said to be campaigning for candidates in other wards.

Krithika M, a resident of Anjanapura, Bannerghatta Road, has a similar complaint. “The local pourakarmika told her colleagues that she won’t come to work as she will be busy canvassing. So, we are forced to keep the garbage in our apartment complex until alternate arrangements are made.”

People in Peenya and Peenya industrial area are also forced to manage their garbage. Abdul, an industrial worker, said the BBMP ought to pay special attention to the area as it generated a lot of industrial and residential waste. “If pourakarmikas are absent, the Palike should make alternative arrangements.”

BBMP Administrator T M Vijay Bhaskar acknowledged the problem. “When I went around the City on the day candidates were filing nomination papers, I noticed that out of 110 pourakarmikas, 36 were absent as they had gone on election campaign. We marked all of them absent and they lost their daily wage of Rs 250. If garbage is not picked and pourakarmikas are absent, people should inform us.

“Residents or welfare associations can also check where mustering (pourakarmika attendance) take places at 6.30-7 am every day in every ward. Citizens can also complain to ‘Suchimitras’. We will take action against the pourakar-mikas,” he told Deccan Herald.
 

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