Bengaluru: The BBMP is going all out to curb the use of plastic covers and is carrying out regular raids at shops and malls. Now, they are also planning to create awareness among the public to stop using plastic covers to dispose of garbage, which BBMP official say is the biggest menace.
Notices are being issued and penalties are being imposed on shopkeepers and store owners for giving plastic covers to customers.
A senior BBMP officer said, “We are conducting regular drives against the use of plastic covers, but we have realised that people are using plastic covers to dump garbage which is the biggest menace. We can tackle the issue of people using plastic covers to carry purchased items from shops, but throwing garbage in plastic covers is a bigger menace.”
He said, “Around 40 per cent of garbage collected by garbage collection vehicles comes in these plastic covers. We will start creating awareness programmes asking residents to stop storing garbage in plastic covers and to use dustbins directly. There are several ways to stop the use of plastic covers, but people find it convenient to use these covers to store their garbage and they have no idea how big a task it is to segregate these plastic covers from garbage.”
Another officer said they will discuss the issue and also ask Pourakarmikas not to collect garbage from houses, hotels or other places which store garbage in plastic covers. “This issue will be raised in the next meeting and will be taken up seriously. We will ensure that no one disposes of garbage in plastic covers. A strict rule will also be brought in place and we will see that this practice is stopped completely,” he said.
Ragpickers to be involved with solid waste collection
Ragpickers rummaging through garbage are a common sight. The garbage which gets either piled up or kept in disposable bags often spills over after the rag pickers go through it. They pick only what they want like plastic bottles, covers and glass bottles and leave the rest out in open.
“We don’t have anything against rag pickers. They are earning a living out of the trash. Our issue is that nobody cares what happens after the ragpickers leave,” said Joseph, resident of Ejipura, adding that they leave a mess.
Rajesh Babu, co-founder of Bengaluru based NGO Swachha Eco Solutions said that there are clear guidelines laid down under the National Urban Livelihood Mission and the Swachh Bharat Mission that rag pickers should be involved in the garbage collection system by the local bodies.
Rajesh said that as per the latest survey by BBMP, the city has more than 7,000 rag pickers. The Palike should take steps to engage them in association with NGOs.
“Majority of ragpickers are migrants, always on the move. They settle near abandoned land and lakes. Ragpickers are doing a great job in keeping the city clean. We demand they be engaged by the BBMP," he said.
He adds that the National Register of Citizens will help identify ragpickers who have settled illegally in the city, thereby posing a threat to the security.
City Mayor Gangambike said that ragpickers are involved in the garbage collection. "As per the new garbage collection tenders, which will come into effect soon, ragpickers will be involved in collecting the dry wastes door-to-door.”
She added that the new tender policy will also weed out all black spots in the city and people who dump garbage as per their whims and fancies by stuffing thrash in plastic covers will be slapped with hefty fines by BBMP marshals....