Ok, Bangalore’s population is close to ten million now and the city is bursting at its seams. There is a huge space crisis in Bangalore, I am not talking about realty, property etc, but about living space. There is no escape to be found from the maddening crowds. Parks, restaurants, markets, malls – literally every public space is choked with people at all times. I think to have a sense of space is very essential for general well being. I am not sure that is appreciated enough. With the city becoming increasingly claustrophobic, stress levels are bound to rise – traffic jams, parking problems, road rage just to name a few. Also, this implies that going out to relax and unwind is not a good idea. With crowds everywhere, one will only end up getting more stressed. Restaurants where an average meal for two would be upwards of Rs. 2000 are packed to the brim !
The importance of living space was recognized pretty early on, Lebensraum was an ideology introduced more than 100 years ago, but was perversely misused by the Nazis to justify their crimes.
I know that it is hypcritical to complain about crowds, when one is part of the crowd themselves. We know the solutions like better urban planning is just an illusion given the state of things in India. So what are the alternatives ? Moving to the countryside will not work, since there is a lack of basic infrastructure. Moving to other second tier cities, Mysore, Kolhapur and working remotely from there is probably a better idea.
It’s an absolutely ridiculous problem – one that shouldn’t even exist. But yet it does. Bangalore has a stinking Garbage problem. There are all kinds of solutions proposed – ranging from an overkill solution of gps monitored truck with camera , to a more reasonable intention of inculcating citizens with better habits. But, the fundamental problem is that the concept of dustbins do not exist in the city. The BBMP in all its wisdom has officially made Bangalore a dustbin free city, hoping that everyone will use the door to door garbage collection system. This is a seriously WTF policy. If you do not have dustbins, you will have a garbage problem. The current solution involves a worker with a pushcart collecting trash from door to door. The collected trash is then transferred to a three wheeler. It then goes from a three wheeler into a truck and then is finally unloaded into a landfill. The solution is unworkable from so many angles:
What if the worker doesn’t turn up on certain days ? (People do take vacations, fall sick)
What if they don’t turn up at the same time everyday ?
What if that time is not convenient for everyone ?
What if the kind of trash you have does not fit into a push cart ? e.g. A mattress or garden waste ?
So there is a very real requirement of having a place to dump garbage. Since, this is not there trash piles up in road corners and other miscellaneous spots.
Other negative aspects :
– Huge amount of manpower turning up in every street of the city, every day of the year without fail. This is obviously impractical.
– Treating sanitary workers in an inhuman way by making them manually transfer garbage from push cart to three wheeler to truck. This is a backbreaking hell of a job that has to be done every day.
With huge trashcans at every street corner, you can have trucks that come once in a couple of days and lift the garbage without any human intervention at all. This solves all existing problems mentioned above. No one is dependent on someone to pick up garbage, an ubiquitous drop off place for trash now exists, nobody has to manually lift trash and a massive reduction in manpower can be achieved.
Surely, this is not difficult to implement. Chennai seems to have done it successfully and it definitely is cleaner than Bangalore – no trash in street corners or in electric transformer boxes.
Anyway, the (dim) light at the end of the tunnel is that BBMP is supposedly realizing that they need to provide dustbins after all. Here’s hoping for the best.