Mangaluru: PM Narendra Modi will be be walking with his head down in shame, if he happens to pass by the garbage pile on the Jeppu-Bappal road in the City- seems like some of the residents of this area might have still not received the message of “Swachh Bharath” or probably they are just ignoring the awareness campaign of keeping the surroundings clean. How can anyone ever dream of having a “Swachh Bharath” when people are ignorant and care less about cleanliness.
Garbage…garbage everywhere ! Garbage, trash, rubbish, waste, refuse whatever you prefer to call it, is piled high, strewn all over and sometimes collected into little mounds for clean up. And that’s the scene you see at every nook and corner in the City of Mangaluru, and in residential lanes. The stench and ugly sight of waste dumped along roadside and also the overflowing garbage bins is not only a growing problem faced by the Mangaluru City Corporation, but it’s also a shame for this City when visitors from out of town, and those foreigners who arrive on cruise ships are greeted by the ugly heap of garbage. As with most public health hazards there’s more trash in the up-class neighborhoods than in the other parts of the city. Also you will be not surprised to find stray dogs, crows, cows and pigs rummaging through an enormous garbage pile. The ubiquitous garbage doesn’t seem to bother the City officials, but it stands out to me, as it has to other residents, as one of the most obvious health hazards in the community.
Mangaluru’s garbage woes stare at you every morning as you get out of the house. Very soon, if the situation remains unresolved, it will be a bigger problem than just an eyesore and an attack on your olfactory senses. The garbage dumps around your house or apartment complex can be the source of dengue, malaria, typhoid, jaundice or even leptospirosis. Garbage is also getting scattered because the lack of large, collection bins means stray dogs spread the filth across a larger area. With Mangaluru said to have quite a large number of stray dogs, the havoc caused can be immense. Looks like “Swachh Bharath Abhiyan” has gone to the dogs!
Among the pathetic scenes of garbage scattered all over seen at many places in the City due to lack of garbage bins provided by the MCC, the Jeppu-Bappal road also adds to list. Couple days ago I was visiting my friend who resides in this area, and I was surprised to see garbage scattered all over a pretty good stretch of this Jeppu-Bappal road, and the worst part is that neither the corporator in charge of this ward nor the MCC has given any attention to this “stinky” issue. Even in spite of many complaints by the area residents to the concerned authorities, the garbage problem has not been rectified until now.
Another most irritating aspect of this city is the nuisance of garbage dumping. Residents, literate as well as illiterate are dumping their daily waste in whatever vacant site they can find nearest to their home. This causes the garbage to decompose and stink to a great deal. Moreover, the garbage heaps attract rodents and mosquitoes. Sometimes stray dogs scatter the garbage, which is quite an unpleasant sight to witness. I don’t blame the residents as they don’t have any other option. If we had a proper garbage disposal system in place, then this problem wouldn’t arise. So why isn’t the MCC taking quick action in getting rid of this “stinky” problems.
Residents of this area are worried about the spreading of diseases like Malaria, Dengue etc when there is a pile of open garbage. If the MCC does not find a proper solution to this garbage situation, it can spread more fly and mosquito-borne diseases like dengue and malaria. Garbage, if coupled with rain which is visiting the city on and off, can spell trouble for residents of this area. Charlie a resident of Jeppu-Bappal said “Garbage piles are home to rodents, mosquitoes and flies. Besides dengue and malaria, I heard that leptospirosis can spread through rodents. Although leptospirosis is not common in Mangaluru, it can be a real scare during the monsoon. The city authorities nor our ward corporator care less about the safety and health concerns of the residents”
A professor who lives in that area said, “Piling up of garbage is more dangerous during the monsoon as it also poses the threat of groundwater contamination. Water contamination can cause diseases like typhoid, cholera, jaundice and gastroenteritis. Children are the most vulnerable to such diseases. It can also spread viral diseases and create health hazard in the city. MCC should act quick and find a solution for the garbage mess, before the diseases are spread around the area
A resident living very close to the garbage dump complained saying, “Because of the garbage piled up around our house, we are forced to keep your windows/doors shut, especially during the evenings. We have also covered our doors and windows with nets so that flies and mosquitoes don’t enter the house. Sometimes the stink is so terrible, we can’t even step out of the house. Residents throw sea-food waste which stinks bad when rotten. With no one taking care of this safety hazard situation, we always apply mosquito repellent before stepping out of the house and use it through the day. We have to cover our faces with handkerchiefs, especially our children when they head out to school.”
A dire straits, which has been lurking for quite a long time in this area for a while need to catch the attention of both the MCC authorities and the Ward corporator. The garbage crisis, which has crippled the coastal city to a significant degree, is one of the rising challenges since the scale and magnitude of the crisis is too overwhelming to get resolved in a flash. A threat, which the city completely overlooked, has risen to alarming heights, with piles of waste accumulating everywhere. One look at the streets of the city will testify the fact that the vast amounts of garbage scattered across the city is a rising concern.
With open drains and heaps of scattered waste, this city is heading for a fall displaying the sheer incompetence of the civic body. The rapid growth of the city is goofed up with contaminated drains, choked lanes and solid waste (comprising of dirt, garbage and rubbish), marking the failure of dustless refuse collectors, mechanical transport and house to house collectors. Jeppu-Bappal area is also one such locality where the garbage issues have not been addressed by the concerned authorities. A fast action to solve this garbage problem is very much solicited by may area residents.
Our Prime Minister has launched ‘Clean India Campaign’ which is really a much-needed initiative. Why not we citizens come forward and join hands and start implementing this idea from our neighborhood? We as the citizens of this country, need to be more responsible towards our environment. How long are we supposed to turn a blind eye to it? Can we together give some attention towards this neglected area? Even the MCC authorities should co-operate with the residents by providing suitable garbage bins.If garbage bins aren’t there, then we are looking at scattered waste all over the place.
The garbage issue is not only in the Jeppu-Bappal vicinity, it is everywhere in Mangaluru. Sometimes, the vacant sites have become a menace to adjacent dwellers and they are a security issue, nuisance, health hazard and polluting places. Many residents have been experiencing this menace in their neighborhood empty site right from the 80’s- 90’s. Any amount of request to officials, Corporator and MLA in vain. The Residents have made several requests orally and in writing to the city Officials,but of no avail.There is a law on such vacant sites and lands when polluted and cause inconvenience to residents but not enforced! The vacant site/land owners quietly keep away from the seen till they transfer the property or build structures for money making. They just don’t bother on the hardships faced by neighbors.
With the growing numbers of apartments, hotels, restaurants, hospitals/clinics, schools/colleges, and other businesses, the garbage is increasing day by day and when its not attended by the clean up crew in timely basis it creates smell which is unbearable especially on a hot and humid day. But has the City done enough to tackle this ‘stinky ‘ situation that haunts Mangaloreans everyday, and for that matter, the residents living around Jeppu-Bappal vicinity.. Rotten garbage is one of the health hazards that has resulted in spreading Malaria. As per sources Mangalore and surrounding areas had the highest cases of Malaria reported last year and until now –but no one cares, including the City officials. Though I am generally quite an optimistic person, I think pigs are more likely to fly. So I think it will take non-governmental and community efforts to change the City’s garbage situation.
With the garbage situation still not solved, it looks like one needs to be in power or have a lot of money to get problems fixed or jobs done. Like a dilapidated road gets fixed only when a minister’s motorcade is scheduled to pass through it. Likewise, only when an MLA or a Minister resides in your area do you get regular drinking water and other amenities. Residents of Jeppu-Bappal will have to wait and see, until yet another example of this aberration of democracy unfolds before their eyes, when the presence of a high authority steps in to solve the garbage problems –until then it will be all history!! Or the residents should stage ire against the MCC officials/corporator and pressure them to solve the garbage issue.
I know that the garbage menace here is a ‘stinky’ and ‘uncomfortable’ situation to many residents. It is certainly hard, but is all one can be expected to do when surrounded on all sides by thrash. And after living and moving around in the such community for long enough you can’t even smell it anymore, anyways. You will have to bear with it, and live with it!