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Green way forward
Many Bengalureans say that while the authorities seem to be making efforts, more needs to be done. While composting needs to be encouraged to keep a check on wet waste, systematic awareness campaigns need to continue, says Prerana Arvind Singh, a resident from Sahakarnagar. "Leaves which fall from the trees on the streets should be composted. There are people who still burn leaves. This should be completely stopped,” she says.
Waste segregation is happening in most places but in rural areas like Kodigehalli, a strict watch needs to be kept. "Many people still throw mixed waste in such places, citing excuses like the 'pourakarmikas’ do not come on time. But if they give clear instructions for the workers when they see them on a weekend, most of the staff works accordingly,” she says.
Though waste management might be a compulsion at most apartment complexes in the city, it is still a distant reality for people in individual houses, says Manisha Bhatt, a resident of Rajajinagar. "While our apartment complex fines people who do not separate waste properly, residents of individual houses around us still use plastic bags to dispose waste. Local authorities need to conduct continuos educational programmes on how to deal with waste,” she says.
"Also cloth bags should be encouraged, so that plastic is avoided entirely,” she says.
People are more conscious now and the way forward is not giving presentations in closed rooms but sharing practical knowledge, says NS Ramakanth, a resident of Sheshadripuram and a part of 'Solid Waste Management Round Table’.
He says that he goes out during early mornings to invigilate and share insights with 'pourakarmikas’ and residents on how to sort waste.
He adds that the '2Bin1Bag’ concept issued by the High Court should be followed strictly.
"If there are no bins, then old buckets should be used. When people dispose waste in plastic bags, they do not realise that the 'pourakarmikas’ have to sort them again, which is double work for them and a non-hygienic practice too,” he adds.
Ramakanath adds that the BBMP is planning to install CCTV cameras at dark spots to monitor people throwing waste illegally. "In Jakkasandra, there are citizens who have started keeping watch till midnight. If someone dumps waste at any unmarked spot, their name and other details are shared in a WhatsApp group and he is fined. This could be tried by others too,” he says.
N Manjunath Prasad, BBMP Commissioner, says that the civic body started focussing on waste segregation since February 2017.
"The city generates around 4000 tonnes of waste everyday. When we started, we noticed that around 1200 tonnes i.e. 30 percent segregation was happening at the source. We moved this up to 50 percent, which is the highest in the country,” he states. From training link workers to health inspectors, the BBMP has taken continuous steps to ensure waste segregation happens effectively.
"The citizens also need to continue their efforts for a cleaner better Bengaluru,” he sums up.