Kurusukuppam residents pool in to keep their streets clean

“Why wait for the government to act?” seems to be the prevailing mood at a suburb where the community has taken up the lead in keeping the neighbourhood clean.

Thanks to an initiative by a few residents of Francois Martin and Advocate Chinnathambi Street in Kurusukuppam, a major spring-cleaning is under way.

To start with, they decided to stop the practice of throwing garbage on the street and start a door-to-door collection of segregated waste with a view to achieving zero waste. These residents hope to inspire other neighbourhoods to follow suit.

Sunaina Mandeen, an activist and resident says, “Let us make Kurusukuppam clean and hygienic. Let it be the first zero waste-neighbourhood in Pondicherry. This message will spread to other areas as well.”

She said clearance of garbage has been caught up in a ‘responsibility row.’

“The decisions have to percolate from political and administrative levels. We need to wait for ever and live in filth. So the residents decided to do something about it. We want our surroundings to be clean, safe and mosquito free,” Ms. Mandeen said. The exercise involved hiring men and tri-cycles as well as scheduling volunteers for door-to-door collection of garbage, she added.

“We pooled in to buy tricycles and garbage bags. The cart will go door-to-door and collect garbage and then segregate it (wet or dry),” Ms. Mandeen said. This job will be done every morning, between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Shoma Sharan, a resident said: “In order to pay for this, residents will contribute anything between Rs. 30 and Rs. 100. It is completely voluntary.”

“Hitherto we have been living in filth. We were shamed to invite some guests to our house. After this initiative, I hope things can improve,” said Sunaynana Panda, another resident.

This initiative was formally initiated by K. Lakshminarayanan on Tuesday.

He assured the residents of all assistance to their initiative.

Rajamanikam, Commissioner of Puducherry Municipality said the residents of the city generate 380 tons of garbage now whereas it was only around 200 tons during 2009-2010.

This initiative will help reduce the burden of municipalities to some extent, he added.

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