As the dawn breaks, the IMC trucks reach every household in Itanagar to collect commercial, household and kitchen wastes. I have observed that the sanitary boys who come on the truck to my sector are very hard-working. They carry out the work of collecting wastes from the households and transferring them to the truck with utmost dedication.
During a conversation with some of the boys, I got to know of their displeasure that, despite the truck reaching every household every morning, they find that most of the wastes are being dumped in polythene bags on the roadside overnight.
The correct way is to hand over the waste to the sanitary boys when the truck arrives. Kitchen waste which is dumped overnight is eaten by animals, which causes littering in the area. This makes the neighbourhood dirty, filthy-smelling, unhygienic and prone to diseases.
We should not just sit back and complain about the garbage around us. For that matter, we cannot always point fingers at the municipality and other government departments. Due credit also has to be given to them. At least the town of Itanagar and our neighbourhoods are clean because of their efforts.
The most important stakeholders in keeping our neighbourhoods clean are us. Apart from paying Rs 100 monthly municipal charges (only some of us may be paying) what have been our contribution towards cleanliness? Not much, I’m afraid. We don’t take the effort to segregate our household wastes at source. We cannot make an effort to not use polythene carry bags. And we point fingers at the government departments for the mess around us.
We have forgotten that the biggest force to combat anything, including garbage, is us. The day we practically start to segregate our kitchen wastes at our kitchens themselves, stop using polythene carry bags, and take environment-friendly actions, a major part of the issue would be addressed.
The government departments engaged in garbage removal must also buckle up and address their shortcomings, which I’m sure they are aware of. If all the stakeholders act according to their responsibilities, the battle against garbage will be overcome.
World Environment Day is on 5 June. Why cannot our state capital be ‘swachh’ like Indore (the number one cleanest city in India) or Gangtok (number 13)? What has been our contribution in making Itanagar dirt- and garbage-free? Have we, the common people, ever contributed anything?
Think. Ponder. Change. Act.
A citizen for Swachh Itanagar