For a better tomorrow

Rocky roads

For a better tomorrow

In the recent ‘Swachh Bharath’ survey, Bengaluru was ranked as the seventh cleanest City in the country but most Bengalureans don’t seem to agree with this as garbage dumps at every street corner play reminder to the harsh realities. Besides an overload of garbage, mismanaged traffic, poor public transport and lack of quality infrastructure continue to rankle the City.

Now, with the BBMP elections scheduled to be held on August 22, citizens have raised a few pertinent questions that beg for answers and possibly definite solutions. It’s not for nothing, says Meena, a coordinator with ‘Saahas’, that Bengaluru has earned the sobriquet of ‘Garbage City’.

She points out that the City is not free from solid waste due to the lack of decentralised waste management centres. She feels that right now, the only ‘solution’ seems to be dumping garbage on landfills, which is Mandur and Mavallipura, and this reflects the insensitivity of the urban-dwellers.

However, Meena believes that looking at only garbage trucks as a solution will not help solve the issue. She says, “An average urban Indian generates 0.3 to 0.6 kg of waste per day. A ward generates 20 tonnes of waste and every ward should have at least five decentralised centres. This helps as the citizens know how the waste is being segregated and is a long-term solution.” She also doesn’t see any change in the context of elections as she believes that such changes cannot be done overnight and must take place on a continuous basis.

“I have seen the prospective candidates promising cleanliness during their campaigns and in their manifestos as well. They’ve also highlighted the issues of solid waste management. These are two different things.” Another problem that the City is currently facing is urban stress, thanks to the mismanagement of traffic and poor quality of roads. Kshitiz Goliya, a professional, feels that Bengaluru suffers from dismal infrastructure, which the BBMP should invest on.
    
He rues, “Even arterial roads are in a pathetic state. And public transport must be improved. There are too many AC Volvo buses that many can’t afford. As a result, AC buses run half empty or fully empty and BMTC buses are overcrowded.”

‘Namma Metro’ doesn’t fail to get some attention either. “The Metro rail work is progressing at a slow pace. For a City that prides itself as a tech hub, it should execute the Metro work at a faster pace,” he adds.

However, citizens hope to see substantial changes in Bengaluru after the elections and hope for a brighter tomorrow.

Amol, a student, says that Bengaluru sees only piecemeal changes, which are left in the lurch later on. “The current mess in Bengaluru is worthy of discussion in the Parliament. We need to find ways to better the City in a short span of time. Bengaluru was India’s original ‘Smart City’ but it does not have the basic infrastructure required for that tag.”

He also feels the primary issues that need to be addressed are those that matter for a healthy lifestyle — air pollution, clean water, efficient management of garbage and public healthcare. But apart from a ‘cleaner’ Bengaluru, people also wish to see a ‘kinder’ one, a City that implements schemes catering to the poor rather than just the elite.

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