The festive spirit was high in the city on Tuesday and Wednesday as grand-scale celebrations of Ayudha Puja and Vijayadashami marked a comeback. Along with over 100 Durga pandals, decorated buildings, vehicles, BMTC buses, and other cultural events were a common sight on Tuesday and Wednesday. However, the full-fledged celebrations also left behind heaps of wet waste on the streets.
In many commercial areas in the city, including K.R. Market, Yeshwanthpur, Gandhi Bazaar, Hebbal, and Shivaji Nagar, unsold plantain stems, ash gourds, loose flowers, and garlands were left to rot on roads.
Even in residential areas, broken ash gourds, lemons, and flower garlands were dumped in vacant sites or street corners.
According to officials of the Solid Waste Management (SWM) wing of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), at least an additional thousand tonnes of waste is generated in the city.
“On normal days, around 4.5 to 5 thousand tonnes of waste are generated and it goes up by 20 to 30% during the festivals. The area around the temple in Banashankari is at the top of the list, among places where large quantities of waste are generated during these festivals,” said Parashuram Shinnalkar, Joint Commissioner, SWM, BBMP.
He added that teams were already at different locations clearing up the garbage and that within two days they would be done clearing almost all of the festive waste.
Devotees got out on the streets on Wednesday to bid adieu to the Durga idols which were kept within pandals for Navaratri. Long processions accompanied by dance performances and firecrackers led the idols to the BBMP designated lakes for immersion. Long queues were observed near Ulsoor lake where most of the immersions took place.
With attractive offers and shoppers’ enthusiasm, businesses had a good festive season this time, after taking a two-year hit due to the pandemic.
At many home appliance stores, with various brands offering discounts, the sales of electrical appliances, especially mixers, refrigerators, and washing machines, saw an uptick in the last eight to 10 days.
Textile traders reported that although business was not completely back to the pre-pandemic levels, they are hopeful that it will pick up going forward.
“We have seen a lot of activity during the festival. Monsoon sales have picked up and by Deepavali, we are hoping to see pre-pandemic level business. Even after that, the run might continue till Christmas and New Year,” said Sajjan Raj Mehta, trade activist.