Everything is garbage until it is segregated. However, despite a never-before crisis staring it in its face, the government doesn’t seem to have realised that there can be answers to what seem to be gigantic problems. As for the one that has pushed Bangalore and of course, surrounding villages like Mandur and Mavallipura over the edge, the answer is simple: The problem has to end where it begins.
So, as usual, it is looking for misdirection, instead of solution. It is searching for new landfills as if people living in surrounding villages are sub-humans meant to find solace in living with the garbage dumped by their urban counterparts. It’s so shocking to hear how one important official after another says urbanites will be more troubled than the villagers if the crisis persists. The truly aggrieved villagers have taken to streets and, rightly so.
In another attempt, the government shunted out the BBMP Commissioner to strike off an item on its desperate to-do list. How can one person, no matter which position he is in, have answers to a crisis the entire city is responsible for?
Crises like these always give an opportunity to come up with radical solutions. If the government truly wants a lasting solution, it should make waste segregation at source mandatory. The onus of creating a better living space should be on each individual household who generates garbage. It should be on each individual who contributes to the crisis day in and day out.
According to activist N S Ramakanth, except for cadmium and arsenic, everything else can be recycled. Setting up waste recycling units in each ward can mitigate the crisis at an astonishing speed. Everyone will fall in line if the waste collectors refuse to lift the garbage that is not properly segregated.
But then, what’s preventing the government from hammering out a solution? It can’t somehow wriggle itself out of the contractors’ mafia—as simple as that. Even as garbage mounds multiply in the city, it’s the stench emanating from a scammed administration that will spell doom for all of us.
Back at home
This crisis has gone out of control. We are no strangers to how our officials take us for a ride with one scam after another. To expect any practical solution from the administration is just futile. Let’s take pride in segregating waste in our own backyard. Nothing can be more fulfilling than the realisation that it takes simple habits and a bit of determination to live light on this beautiful earth.