Efforts Put in by APD Foundation & Hasiru Dala Sees Nethravati Bridge Area Cleaner than Before!
Mangaluru: Anti Litter-Don’t Be Bitter-Stop The Litter! ‘Namma Netravathi, Namma Javabdari’ a campaign launched near Nethravati Bridge by Anti-Pollution Drive (APD) Foundation, Mangaluru and Hasiru Dala, Mangaluru, both NGO’s from 18 January 2021 and was continued for the next few weeks has seen great results, even though not 100%, but has made a significant change in the attitude of people in littering the area with waste while passing by on four-wheelers and two-wheelers. (Ref: Anti Litter-Don’t Be Bitter-Stop The Litter! ‘Namma Netravathi, Namma Javabdari’ Campaign Launched)
Before this campaign was launched, it is surprising to see the pathetic condition of this highway littered with garbage piled up at every 1/4 or 1/2 Km or so- and the best part is that there was more garbage dumped where signs were posted “NOT TO DUMP GARBAGE”?. How ignorant and careless people could be towards Swachatha of India. The scenes of all these garbage piled areas no doubt shattered the dreams of PM Narendra Modi’s “Swacch Bharath Abhiyan”. If the garbage spots start from Yekkur, they continue along the NH 66, or beyond, that I assume. Yes, it’s true that as the population increased, and also apartments/education institutions/hotels, etc have increased, the quantity of waste also doubled but the concerned authorities have failed to find a place to dump garbage for the people living along the NH 66 and also those traveling on that highway. (Ref: Keralites from ‘God’s Own Country’ Dump their Garbage in ‘Rome of the East’-Mangaluru’!)
This stretch of highway gives an unusual view of garbage scattered all over the place. The road, which is a state highway shows the irresponsibility of representatives. You can see people tossing out garbage from the moving vehicles, and also residents and shop employees dumping garbage along the roadside, and stray dogs, including crows and birds, feast on this garbage. Among the garbage, you could also find used syringes, cotton, medicine bottles/ used tablets wraps, etc thrown by some hospitals or hospitals in that vicinity. This ugly scene on the highway surely sends a bad image of India and also of the district to all the visitors from other countries who travel on this highway during their sightseeing tour. (Ref: Total Swachh Bharath Abuse! Truckers & Commuters make NH 66 a Private Dump Yard
THIS IS HOW THE AREA NEAR NETHRAVATI BRIDGE LOOKED ON 18 JANUARY 2021…
Despite the hype around the cleanliness drive after Prime Minister’s clarion call for Swaccha Bharath Abhiyan, filth is still visible on this national highway, and other highways. With the dumping of garbage on both sides of the national highway at various locations, many a time people using the road are put to inconvenience by the stench that emanates from the garbage dumped indiscriminately. In spite of awareness on why the use of plastic should be avoided, people continue to use plastics. It forms a major chunk of the garbage dumped along the national highway. Even people have been dumping garbage from the Nethravathi Ullal bridge into the running river below, despite a sign posted nearby not to dump the garbage.
THIS IS HOW THE AREA NEAR NETHRAVATI BRIDGE LOOKS ON 11 FEBRUARY 2021…
To bring awareness and prevent people from discarding waste near and into the Nethravati River, Anti-Pollution Drive (APD) Foundation and HASIRU DALA- both NGO’s had launched the ‘Namma Netravathi, Namma Javabdari’ Campaign at Netravathi Bridge. This initiative was supported by Mangaluru City Corporation and Ullal Nagara Sabha, ánd the campaign aimed to help reduce plastic pollution in the ocean. The campaign was spread for a couple of weeks from 6 am to 9 am. A large number of volunteers from different organizations, including students of SDM Law College, Mangaluru had assembled along the bridge at daybreak to create awareness among the people to desist from dumping waste into the river.
Many activists had joined in forming a ‘human chain’, Rayappa, Commissioner of Ullal Nagara Sabha also participated in the campaign and was kind enough to arrange a few workers from Ullal Nagara Sabha in cleaning up the garbage, and load it in the truck. On 23rd January, Karnataka Reserve Police also joined in the campaign and B M Prasad commandant supported the campaign for the cause and provided breakfast to the volunteers. ACP (Traffic) Natraj also participated assuring full support from his team and helped at the location to stop public throwing waste while going in the vehicles.
Speaking to Team Mangalorean Abdullah A. Rehman, CEO and Founder of APD Foundation said, “APD Foundation and Hasiru Dala which had identified hotspots around Mangaluru where waste was entering the waters and where residents are indiscriminately disposing waste, and at that locations, we raised awareness among the people to quit their habits of littering in public places, and it worked. The water pollution can easily be avoided if every stakeholder takes it as their responsibility to protect Netravathi, the lifeline of Mangaluru. I am happy that ‘Namma Netravathi, Namma Javabdari’ brought the citizens together and protected Netravathi. Netravathi River is the lifeline of Mangaluru city. and therefore Cooperation of every citizen is needed to keep it pollution-free. People must stop throwing waste into the river. We urge all citizens to stop this unhealthy practice of throwing waste which will eventually reach the sea. We will campaign in the days to come if the area is littered again”.
Nalini Shekar, the co-founder of Hasiru Dala, said, “Water resources are precious for a community’s survival. As our consumption increases, the waste also increases and so does our responsibility for its appropriate disposal. Integrating and practicing sustainable living is the next step. Yes, we agree that the disposal of garbage continues to be a challenge faced by the civic authorities. Officials say that they alone can not keep the city clean. A change in attitude among people towards the issue of cleanliness is the need of the hour. In spite of many awareness programmes on ‘Swachh Bharath’ people have the habit of dumping garbage on the highways, streets, and pavements. Adding to this, construction debris is also dumped. We did our best and we are happy we saw positive results, and the littering has stopped to the maximum”.
It’s time that our elected state representatives take quick action on this garbage menace on NH 66, especially near the Nethravati Bridge, (where the garbage thrown slowly enters into the river from the side), and start cleaning up soon. I hope this report will awaken some of our “Beloved?” leaders, including Ullal constituency MLA UT Khader, and the rest of the political and district administration/PWD/NHAI honchos to take action fast and do the needful. Nethravati river is the lifeline of Mangaluru city. The co-operation of every citizen is required to keep it pollution-free. While appreciating the efforts put in by APD Foundation and Hasiru Dala by taking up this campaign to save the Nethravati River from unwanted waste, people should also join in this campaign and see that the area is litter-free, and also help in being a volunteer during the campaign days.
Ms Vanishree, of APD Foundation, speaking about the Zero Waste Week campaign which is going on now said, “Waste sounds like something that’s unachievable and probably it is, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t all try. The aim for a week is to send nothing to a landfill. And gradually turn to a habit..Refuse what you don’t want, Reduce what you need, Reuse as much as you can, send as little as possible to be Recycled, and Rot (compost) whatever you can’t. The goal should be Zero Waste and every little thing we do to help achieve that is a step in the right direction. You can do as much or as little towards the Zero Waste Goal that works for you. It doesn’t have to be a radical change in your lifestyle, but obviously the more you change the more it will help to make a difference”.
For further details and how you can be a volunteer in Cleanliness Drive call: Ms Vanishree B. R. (Convener, APD Foundation): Mobile: 87621 62036 and Nagraj Ragav Anchan (Convener, Hasiru Dala): Mobile: 9663506158