People who took part in the ‘shramdan' to clean the city found an easy way to get rid of the vegetation (undergrowth). They openly set it on fire at some places which resulted in spreading of smoke.

The Dakshina Kannada district administration and the Mangalore City Corporation had organised the ‘shramdan' in nine areas of the city.

Scenes of setting fire were mainly seen in Kottara where the government quarters was housed. Government employees cleaned the area along with some other people. Members of the police youth clubs who cleaned the MRPL Road set the vegetation on fire at some places on the road.

Those who cleaned the area in Kottara and Ashoknagar areas were seen setting fire to the dry vegetation and small heaps of dry leaves in the presence of president of Dakshina Kannada unit of Karnataka State Government Employees' Association H. Sanjeeva.

When The Hindu questioned about it, he said only dry vegetation was being burnt. Other solid waste had been loaded on to a lorry.

The president of the managing committee of Mahaganapathi Temple, Urwa Stores, S. Surendra Rao, said: “Smoke helps to keep mosquitoes away.”

Another government official said: “It is just like how you use ‘dhoop' pan smoke at homes to drive away mosquitoes and other insects.''

Commenting on the cleanliness drive, a retired engineer B. K. Bhat at a government quarters said: “The move is good. But how far is it effective will have to be seen.” He said the contractor assigned to clean the ward by Mangalore City Corporation would have to remove the roadside vegetation. “Workers remove the vegetation only up to a foot from the road asking the inmates of houses to remove the remaining. It is not fair.”

Nagesh Kulal, secretary of the Police Youth Club whose members cleaned MRPL Road, said Sunday's drive would motivate people to keep their surroundings clean. “It is a good initiative.” Its president Nagesh Kulal said motivated by the cleanliness drive members of houses on the road cleaned premises of their houses.

Mr. Kulal said a person who was letting wastewater on to the road was convinced not to do so. He agreed to divert it. However, when this correspondent was returning on the road, the same person was seen continuously letting the wastewater flow on to the road. Earlier, Deputy Commissioner Subodh Yadav, Mangalore Police Commissioner Seemant Kumar Singh, Commissioner of Mangalore City Corporation K. N. Vijayaprakash and Superintendent of Police A.S. Rao participated in the drive at Nehru Maidan area. The cleanliness drive was taken up at Balmatta Mission Compound; Attavara; Kadri Toll Gate to Nanthoor; Kankanady to Nandigudda; Subhash Nagar; Kottara and Hat Hill; Kulai to Kana on MRPL Road; Baikampady Industrial Area and central Mangalore covering the Hampankatta and areas surrounding Nehru Maidan.

More In: Mangalore