Campaign leaves Mabukala bridge sideways clean

Campaign leaves Mabukala bridge sideways clean

The sideways cleaned of litter greet those crossing Mabukala bridge on NH 66 in Sasthan.

Those regularly travelling on the Mabukala bridge, on NH 66 across the River Sita in Sasthan, were in for surprise when they were not greeted by the usual nauseating smell of rotting waste and the unpleasant images of garbage littered on either side of path leading to the bridge.

Wastes of all kinds, including plastics, vegetable residues, clothes, poultry waste, dead animals and alcohol bottles, were being
dumped on both sides of the Mabukala bridge for the past few months. Thus the entire area, located about 20 km from Udupi, reeked of a foul smell.

According to local residents, the waste was discarded by people travelling in the cars and other vehicles while
crossing the bridge.

“It all happens in the blink of an eye. If the waste was not removed, it crosses the roads and pollutes River Sita during the monsoon,” said Dinesh Bandhavya, president, Bandhavya Blood Karnataka.

Yet none of the residents bothered to file a complaint with the police station or local panchayat offices. Local panchayats also passed the buck as the bridge was in the jurisdiction of a couple of panchayats.

Dinesh, a local resident, and his team for the past three months had been raising awareness on the need to maintain cleanliness.

Dinesh in association with other organisations launched a campaign ‘Save Sita River’.

Many people also voluntarily joined hands to clean the garbage and save the river from pollution.

‘Save Sita River’ campaign which was implemented in two phases on May 19 and 26 to create an awareness and clean the waste dumped on either side of the Mabukala bridge was successful,” Dinesh said with a smile.

With the help of around 50 plus volunteers, 22 tipper loads of waste was collected and shifted to a landfill.

“Despite the campaign, people are still dumping waste on the bridge. We hope to discourage such dumping of waste by installing CCTV cameras in the area,” he said.

Dinesh added that they will plant saplings on the either side of the bridge soon.

“We hope that people will respect nature and not dump waste here in the future,” he hoped.

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