The editorial “Welcome to garbagopolis” (some editions, Nov. 14), on the garbage crisis in Bangalore, was apt. This is a crisis that almost every town and city in India faces. The most striking observation was on the detail of carefully segregated garbage being re-aggregated by conservancy staff. That was about citizens conscious of their duties. But how many more are unmindful of their responsibility to segregate and hand over this garbage? It is a common sight to see many carrying garbage during a morning walk and tossing it into open spaces. One has to learn lessons from the West, where heavy fines are imposed in case residents do not follow garbage disposal and recycling rules.

C.K. Saseendran, Bangalore

The most feasible solution regarding the disposal of garbage lies in the hands of residents. Reducing household waste, carefully segregating garbage, finding out more about landfills and recycling are small steps to a better life. The electronic media can think of small filler ads on the subject between TV serial commercial breaks to create awareness. And it is wrong to expect residents who live outside city limits to accept our waste.

Aakash Sinha, Warangal

Our acquisitive and consumptive lifestyles create mountains of trash every day in cities. Uncleared garbage is a serious health hazard. Landfilling is no longer a viable solution. We must look at how Nature functions based on a zero-waste principle. By mimicking Nature, we can convert waste into useful products like electricity, fuel and fertilizer. Among the many alternatives, treatment of biodegradable waste at source through bio-treatment appears to be most suited to Indian conditions. The government must give a policy push to encourage the creation of affordable and sturdy waste treatment technologies. Cash-strapped local bodies need to be stewarded and mentored by the State governments to usher in a new paradigm of waste disposal.

V.N. Mukundarajan, Thiruvananthapuram

A winner in Kerala

As far as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act goes, it is undoubtedly one of the most brilliant pro-poor programmes ushering in a revolution in rural governance in India (some editions – editorial page, “Women, work and a winning combination,” Nov.14). Kudumbashree’s role should be applauded as it serves as an example of women’s empowerment.

Madhusree Guha, Kolkata

It was heartening to read how inexperienced housewives have been transformed into a skilled and valuable labour force within a short period of time. Women in Kerala have proved that winners don’t do different things, but do things differently.

Vathsala Jayaraman, Chennai

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