Out of Town Street Flower Vendors Come Here, Do Their Sales & Go Back Leaving Us Trash?
Mangaluru: 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 that found no takers during Janashtami, Monthi Fest and Ganesh Chathurthi, line the streets of popular city areas in the city, 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, in allowing them to make business during various festival days- but in return, when they go back they leave all the waste to be cleaned by the workers of MCC- and not only that, take away the Swachh of Mangaluru.
Even though the painting on the University College wall talks about “Arise and Awake” to see that Mangaluru is clean of litter, put up by Ramakrishna Mission- but sadly, a huge pile of garbage is seen right next to this message, this morning. Even as the city celebrated Ayudha Puja, the streets along Nehru Maidan Road, also adjacent to Town Hall, Market Road and other busy shopping areas have been left with uncleared mountains of garbage, including newspapers that are seen blowing on to the road. And the poor Pourakarmikas of Antony Waste Disposal Company are seen sweeping and collecting the waste and the garbage clearance trucks at some places attempting to carry out the herculean task of ridding the roads of the rotting garbage.
Ever since the SMART officials of MANGALURU SMART CITY TLD (MSCL) had constructed the new WIDER FOOTPATHS, they have been much used by street vendors, for illegal parking etc, rather than actually used by the pedestrians. We are already seeing illegal parking of vehicles and encroachment along footpaths by shopkeepers and street vendors that have choked the City, thereby causing huge inconveniences to the public. Many citizens are questioning that what is the use of spending in lakhs/crores on these senseless Wide Footpaths, when most of it is used for parking by four-wheelers and two-wheeler owners, street vendors, etc. Just look at these new wide footpaths being used by out of town street vendors who are making brisk business selling flowers for Krishnaashtami, Monti Fest, Ganesh Chaturthi, and other feasts and the footpaths are trashed with garbage.
But my question is, why do MCC employees have to clean up the mess left behind by the street vendors? These street vendors are not even the citizens 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? And this is not the FIRST time, it happens year after year, and the MCC officials have turned a blind eye towards it. Many times volunteers of Ramakrishna Mission and NGOs who strive hard for Mangaluru’s swachata have advised these flower vendors to keep their areas clean and see that no garbage is left behind, but all in vain- the pictures in this report will speak the truth!
Sudhakar Poojary, a local flower shop owner who for a day was selling flowers, next to these out-of-town vendors said, “Look at the mess these people leave behind, and no city officials take action, while they are quick in giving warning to us locals when we do something wrong. I clean the area when I am done with my sales, but not so with these people who make a mess and leave. And they have support from some locals, who probably get paid illegally, which MCC may not know. This is not right when we pay taxes, rent, utility bills etc, and these non-citizens of Mangaluru don’t”.
It’s about time that MCC looks into this situation, and warns these street vendors about their carelessness and ugliness, which is taking out the Swachh of Mangaluru. These Street vendors need to be blamed for the garbage-lined roads. Footpath vendors, mainly selling flowers, would dispose of the waste wherever they set up business. 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. The MCC officials have turned a blind eye towards the garbage created by these out of town street vendors. These vendors need to be warned and fined if they leave behind garbage after their business. 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. It’s time to Arise and Awake- 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 or STOP THEIR ENTRY TO MANGALURU!. Period.