It was literally back breaking work for pourakarmikas such as S. Vanaja, who works at Subbannapalya near Banaswadi, across the city on Monday. With the streets littered with heaps of cracker waste, the pourakarmikas had a tough time clearing them.

While the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) officials maintained that the quantum of garbage had increased by only 15 to 20 per cent, the pourakarmikas and garbage supervisors claim otherwise.

Ms. Vanaja said she had to sweep seven cross roads and collect waste from nearly 1,000 homes. “On an average, it comes up to four pushcart loads. Today, I had nearly seven loads. The garbage was piled high and I couldn’t even see in front of the cart. I pushed the cart with great difficulty,” she said.

She said that she was at work at 4 a.m. as she knew the garbage would have mounted in the area. “I was working till 3 p.m. Even the residents felt bad for me and offered me tea and refreshments,” she added.

Garbage supervisor Pouthulaya, who works in Ulsoor, said that the quantum of waste was likely to be higher on Tuesday, what with Monday being the last day of Deepavali festival. “From my area, usually one lorry load of garbage is collected everyday. On Monday, we had more than one-and-half times that.” He said that he had given half day holiday to all his workers on Monday.

However, residents of many areas complained about garbage not being cleared. Anupama Shekhar (name changed), a resident of Sahakaranagar, said that cracker waste and garbage was not cleared in her area. She said that she even complained about the same by contacting the BBMP’s control room.

BBMP officials said that “vigourous cleaning” was taken up in many areas in the city, especially in the market area. “Just from the market area, nearly 10 truckloads of garbage were cleared. Excess men and material were put in place for the same,” the official said and added that quantum of waste would be high even on Tuesday.

More In: KARNATAKA | NATIONAL