Bengaluru

Think twice before dumping garbage on the road

Members of HSR Citizens' Forum, who patrol the streets to stop dumping of garbage on the road side at night, with a policeman.

Members of HSR Citizens' Forum, who patrol the streets to stop dumping of garbage on the road side at night, with a policeman.  

Residents of Jakkasandra and HSR Layout patrol their localities at night to catch the culprits

Tired of waiting for civic officials to take cognisance of the mounting garbage problem in their localities, residents of Jakkasandra and HSR Layout have taken the baton in their own hands and are patrolling their neighbourhoods to stop violators.

Mohan Govindiah, a resident of Jakkasandra, said the locality has three major black spots where people dump garbage at night. “We tried to reach out to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and the local health inspector, but no action was taken on our complaints. In mid-May this year, we formed a team and started patrolling the neighbourhood from Thursday to Sunday every week,” he said.

Residents solicited the help of Madiwala police to deal with unruly violators. “Close to one tonne of waste was ending up every day at a black spot near Lavanya Apartment in Teacher's Colony. Eight of us started patrolling the area from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. We would catch at least 30 people dumping waste every night,” said Mr. Govindiah.

Once caught, the violators were asked to segregate the waste, take it back home and hand it over to waste collectors. “Some refused. We had to call the police, who have been very helpful in the endeavour,” he added.

Two months into the initiative, the residents have seen a marked change. “The amount of garbage coming to the black spot has reduced considerably. Also, fewer people are dumping waste at night. Seeing our work, many more residents, including children, have volunteered to patrol,” he said.

Similarly, members of HSR Citizens Forum have been patrolling the neighbourhood for some time now. Residents, led by Dr. Shanthi Thummala, have been catching people dumping mixed waste on street corners and black spots at night. Unlike in Jakkasandra, HSR Layout residents are getting support from BBMP health inspector Vinod, who joins them on the night rounds. Violators are fined on the spot.

“On the Outer Ring Road near the HSR Layout flyover, the entire footpath has been turned into a dumping yard. Even BBMP garbage collection autos dump garbage there. To make matters worse, some small neighbourhoods, such as Mangammanapalya, do not have proper door-to-door collection. So, residents dump on the streets in HSR Layout. Most members on our team are women. We have caught and fined many violators,” said Dr. Thummala.

While welcoming the initiatives, experts said night vigil by residents is not the only solution to the garbage problem. “There needs to be action on the ground by the authorities concerned. If the vigil stops, the problem will restart. We need a permanent solution. Every zone has night patrolling teams, which is supposed to keep vigil. This is not happening. If they are made accountable, the problem of night-time dumping can be controlled,” said N.S. Ramakanth, member, Solid Waste Management Round table.

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 10:43:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/think-twice-before-dumping-garbage-on-the-road/article24505901.ece

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