How can Bengaluru earn more stars?

How can Bengaluru earn more stars?

Under the new Swacch Bharat Mission system, cities are ranked, like star hotels, by the number of stars they get.

Citizens are wondering how the new system will work. But they know where the city is lacking.

The most common complaints are irregular door-to-door waste collection, clogged stormwater drains, unswept roads, and the lack of an efficient grievance redressal system.

Shilpa Narendra, a high school teacher from Chandra Layout, points out that the roads are spick and span just before elections, but otherwise, are strewn with dry leaves.

She is also concerned about the return of plastic. "When the ban came into effect a couple of years ago, vendors in this area were careful not to use plastic bags, but no one seems to care now," she laments.

Waste collection is a constant worry, says Shreevalli Prasad, customer care head at a hospital, and resident of Sahakarnagar.

"The door-to-door collection does not happen in time. Sometimes the workers don't turn up at all. This leads to people dumping waste on empty sites and creating piles of waste at street corners," she says.

Waste storage bins are placed by businesses, but there no public bins are around. Most people don't carry plastic and other waste back home, which means they litter public spaces, Shreevalli observes.

In Mathikere, homemaker Ranjani Suresh says, waste segregation is not practised.

"Door-to-door waste collection is not regular either. The dumping waste on empty sites needs to stop. Spot fines could help control the situation," she says.

Irregular maintenance of stormwater drains is another concern. "Work on one of the drains near JP Park has been on for a while but is not efficient. People regularly dump waste into drains," she says.

Ranjani feels the need for regular awareness campaigns and a tighter rating system. "Despite being a beautiful city in terms of its people and character, we have a long way to go to make it a pretty place to live in," she laments.

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