Palike begins cleaning up one mess at a time

The civic body manages to eliminate 30 black spots in February; targets 70 more

H eaps of garbage, urinary spots and the legacy waste – which resulted in Bengaluru earning the notoriety as a ‘garbage city’ – is being eliminated, one by one. The massive task is spearheaded by Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), in partnership with The Ugly Indians, an anonymous group of volunteers who clean dirty streets. Together, the team has eliminated as many as 30 large black spots in February. Their target is to clean up 100 such spots.

Some of the dirty spots that have been transformed are: Lingarajapuram (under the flyover), Bannerghatta road (opposite Sobha Magnolia), Sacred Heart College, Suranjan Das Road, opposite BSNL officer in Jeevan Bima Nagar Main road, Cottonpete 18th Cross, Veeranapalya (below flyover) Police Quarters road in Jayamahal ward, Swami Vivekananda Road in Ulsoor and KR Puram Railway Bridge (near Gopalan Mall) among others.

While the BBMP’s health inspectors, supervisors and pourakarmikas are tasked with the responsibility of cleaning up the spot, The Ugly Indian volunteers ensure the transformation of the space. Once the black spot elimination work is over, marshals are deployed at the spot for the next two to three days.

Over the next 30 days, the BBMP has proposed to eliminate at least 15 open garbage spots, which are located along the main road such as Bannerghatta Road and the Outer Ring road. They also plan to cover Banashankari, Malleshwaram, Gandhinagar and Yelahanka divisions this month. This is part of BBMP’s #Clean100Campaign.


Black spots were transformed at Lingarajapuram, Bannerghatta road, Suranjan Das Road, among others places

“We have at least 200 major garbage spots which need to be addressed. Elimination of garbage spots needs to be accompanied by sustainable efforts like better collection and transportation (C&T) of solid waste and placement of manned bins/kasa kiosks. This would reduce the recurrence of garbage spots,” said D Randeep, Special Commissioner (Solid Waste Management) at BBMP, who is driving the initiative.

Volunteers from The Ugly Indians say that just cleaning the spot does not help. “We have developed a template to solve all kinds of garbage spots and design ways to ensure people do not throw the waste at the spot again. Once the garbage is cleared from the spot, we tie ribbons around and leave the space as it is for at least 48 hours. This is to send a message to the waste throwers that the place is cleaned up,” a volunteer said.

The group, besides painting, washes the spot, draws rangoli and installs benches if required. “This approach has worked in most places,” they said. The group also points out that the introduction of marshals has helped.

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Sagar Biswas

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