Area near Town Hall Trashed! Aftermath of Sunday’s Old Clothes Sale by Out-of-Town Street Vendors

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Area near Town Hall Trashed! Aftermath of Sunday’s Old Clothes and Produce Sale by Out-of-Town Street Vendors- a total Abuse of Swachh Mangaluru from Non- Mangaloreans? It’s really shameful that officials of the District Administration and Mangaluru City Corporation have turned a BLIND EYE to this issue since years, when NGOs and other organizations are putting in efforts to keep Mangaluru clean and green

Mangaluru: This report is for the kind perusal and consideration of the officials of district administration and Mangaluru City Corporation, who seem to BLIND by not noticing the mess that is created week after week by street vendors coming from out-of-town and leaving behind a huge pile of old-clothes and vegetable waste after their sales. This has been happening for the last so many years, and our elected representatives and officials of district administration and MCC have turned a BLIND EYE towards this issue. Bah humbug!

A few days ago on a Sunday, the nursing students of Father Muller College of Nursing along with environmentalist Jeeth Roche and MCC environmental engineer Sabarinath had organized an awareness programme with street play to keep Mangaluru CLEAN and GREEN, and had also gone around requesting the vendors not to discard/throw away waste after they leave- but unfortunately come Monday, the area was totally trashed- and the same is happening every Monday, including today. Sometimes there are programmes at Kudmul Ranga Rao Purabhavana (Town Hall)- Mangaluru pertaining to Environment in keeping our City Green and Clean, and while all talking about keeping Mangaluru City Clean is going on inside the Town Hall, outside the Hall, you will be surprised to see piles of garbage, comprising of old clothes left behind by the out-of-town street vendors, who come down to Mangaluru every Sunday to do their illegal business- and when they go back they leave our City trashed and dirty.

THIS IS WHAT YOU SEE ON SUNDAY ………

Yours Truly of Team Mangalorean had highlighted this issue many times in the past, and even requested the former Mayors and MCC Commissioner to take action, but all in vain. No one cares, it looks like. The ongoing festival period is not just heightening the spirits of people; it is also increasing the size of the mounds of garbage already plaguing the city. Left-over flowers, sugar-canes, plantain leaves, ash gourds etc that found no takers during Ayudha Puja, Ganesh Chaturthi, Monti Fest, Dasara, Tulasi Pooja, and other festivals lined the streets of popular city areas in the city, blocking traffic movement in some parts, painting a grim picture of the garbage collection and disposal system in the city post the festivities. The Mangaluru City Corporation has been nice to these street vendors who come from Bagalkot, Arsikere, Hassan and other parts of Karnataka, by allowing them to make business during various festival days.

But the problem is that once they are done with their sales for the day, they leave all the mess/garbage behind, which in some places is seen piled up. And next day early morning the poor Pourakarmikas of MCC/Antony Waste Handling Cell Pvt Ltd are seen sweeping and collecting the waste and the garbage clearance trucks attempting to carry out the herculean task of ridding the roads of the rotting garbage. But my question is, why do MCC employees have to clean up the mess left behind by the street vendors coming from outside Mangaluru? These street vendors are not even the residents of Mangaluru. They don’t even pay City taxes. Then why is MCC not taking any action against these street vendors who leave behind a big mess, that Pourakarmikas have to clean up? Even during the pandemic, these street vendors were doing business without following social distance, and DC nor Mayor nor MCC Commissioner took no action- like they did on other shop owners or that poor petrol bunk staff who got in trouble with DC for not wearing a mask.

Added to the mess created by street flower vendors during festival times, we also have these street vendors who carry on with their trade selling old clothes/rejected company-branded clothes in the vicinity of Townhall- and when they go back to their respective places, they leave behind piles of clothes, and other waste, for Pourakarmikas to clean it up on Monday morning. I definitely think it is not right, and this has to be stopped, once and for all. These street vendors have to clean up their own mess, and not allow others to do it.

THIS IS WHAT YOU SEE ON MONDAY MORNING…..?

A frustrated and exhausted employee of Antony Waste Handling Cell on Monday morning cleaning up near Town Hall, speaking to Team Mangalorean said, ”This is not fair, leaving behind such a large mess for us to clean, left behind by these street vendors. They don’t even give us ten rupees to do their clean up work. While we have to clean up the daily garbage, this additional garbage by these out-of-town street vendors is a burden for us. These vendors don’t care, nor do MCC officials care about us. Why should we have to clean the mess left behind by non-city residents? We only hope that MCC will look into this situation, and warn these street vendors about their carelessness and ugliness”.

These Street vendors need to be blamed for the garbage-lined roads. Footpath vendors, mainly selling flowers, fruits and vegetables, would dispose of the waste wherever they set up business. Early morning traffic jams come with an additional problem – garbage piled up by the informal market set up by street vendors in some areas. This is a never-ending problem-When the vendors wind up for the day, they leave the garbage behind, spilling on the roads, inconveniencing the commuters and shopkeepers around the areas.

Although Mangaluru long ago ranked as the top three top cleanest cities in the country, there has always been garbage and filth scattered all over the city. The MCC officials have turned a blind eye to the garbage created by these street vendors. These vendors need to be warned and fined if they leave behind garbage after their business. Yes, there is no magic wand, or silver bullet, to solve India’s or Mangaluru’s civic problems. We are realists, and accept that many of Mangaluru’s problems are hard to solve even if the government and public work closely together and money is freely available. Of our many civic problems, we view the problem of visible filth on our streets as behaviour and an attitude problem that can be solved in our lifetime (or rather, this month). This can be achieved without spending money or changing legislation or systems. It requires coming up with smart ideas to change people’s rooted cultural behaviour and attitudes. And making sure those ideas work. And to make this happen we need public support in keeping the city clean, and we also need more volunteers.

Let’s not be ignorant- let’s appreciate the work done by MCC Pourakarmikas, volunteers of (Swachh Bharath) Ramakrishna Mission and all others who are trying to keep Mangaluru clean. We need to learn manners of cleanliness, we need to join hands with MCC and other voluntary associations who are striving to keep this beautiful coastal city clean. Let’s not dirty it by our ignorance and dirty manners. MCC needs to educate these street vendors about cleanliness, and if they are still ignorant, punish them with hefty fines. And if they still ignore MCC warnings, don’t allow them to do their ugly business in our town. Problem solved. Period.

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