Festival waste strewn all over; workers want ESMA lifted

Festival waste strewn all over; workers want ESMA lifted

Festival waste strewn all over; workers want ESMA lifted
As the city celebrated Ayudha Puja and Vijaya Dashami, it had to grapple with the issue of garbage piling up again. Garbage was not cleared since Friday in many areas and is unlikely to be removed for the next two days since October 2 is also a public holiday (Gandhi Jayanti).

Heaps of garbage in many parts of the city including Chamarajpet, Srinivasanagar, Jayanagar, KR Market, Kalasipalyam, Malleswaram, Dasarahalli, Yelahanka and Yeshwantpur was a common sight on Saturday morning. The festive remains like used flowers, plantain leaves and stems and ash gourds were strewn around in many places.

Though the state government had invoked the Essential Services and Maintenance Act (ESMA), which empowers the authorities to arrest a worker who does not turn up for work, the garbage problem was not a result of the pourakarmikas failing to clear garbage. Many residents in Chamarajpet and Jayanagar said pourakarmikas were collecting garbage from all houses.

“They reported to work in spite of the festival. Yet, we can see waste across the city,” complained Saraswathi Nagaraj, a resident of Kempegowda Nagar.

Meanwhile, pourakarmikas have written to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) demanding lifting of ESMA that has been invoked for a year.

“Though it is the garbage contractors who are the cause of the trouble by not sending drivers to transport garbage, it is the pourakarmikas who take the blame when garbage is not cleared,” read the letter written by BBMP Guttige Pourakarmikara Sangha.

They have also questioned why no action is being taken against contractors who are creating the menace. A senior BBMP official said on condition of anonymity, “A lot of contractors are hand-in-glove with corporators and this is why it is becoming difficult to solve the problem.”

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