The TRS government in Telangana is perhaps the only state government ruled by a non-NDA party, that has taken up Swach Bharat program in all earnest. The Chief Minister has announced grandiose plans for a Swach Hyderabad and Swach Telangana.
Various initiatives have been announced as part of this program – specifically for Hyderabad and for the rest of the state. In this article, I would like to focus on giving some suggestions to make Swach Hyderabad a reality.
I would like to address this article to Shri. KTR, Minister for Municipal administration and to Shri B. Rammohan Rao, Mayor of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation.
Open garbage trucks everywhere.
Post the massive TRS win in the recent GHMC elections, a flurry of activity was witnessed on the roads of Hyderabad. Garbage trucks were seen more regularly than before. However, here’s the problem. All of them are open trucks, i.e., unbearable stench emanates from them when they traverse on the city roads. And when they stop at traffic signals, the woes of those who wait along with that vehicle cannot even be described.
As part of this program, the government has given new smaller garbage collection vehicles to GHMC. Unfortunately, these are also open vehicles.
My suggestion is that we should get rid of these archaic and age old trucks. GHMC does have a couple of closed trucks, and we should invest in buying more such trucks. The police vehicles in the city were given a very modern touch, and therefore there is really no reason why we cannot upgrade these rusted vehicles to modern ones, that don’t cause hardship to both the driver and the commuters on the road.
Proper uniform for garbage collectors
Below is an image I have clicked in Hyderabad.
Please notice the woeful conditions under which the people are picking up garbage and throwing it into the truck. My suggestion is that we must make it mandatory that every garbage collector must wear proper uniform:
- full hands shirt;
- full length pants;
- long hand rubber gloves;
- proper boots that cover the feet well;
- and a face mask to help cover the nose.
In my opinion, this is the most decent thing to do for them. This will also ensure that some dignity is associated with their profession. And I am sure this will not be a big burden to the exchequer at all.
Open Garbage everywhere
I need not specifically tell you about this problem. Everywhere you go in the city, an open garbage can be found. It can be found on main roads; small gullies; on important roads like Raj Bhavan Road; and outside big malls. Sights like these have just become a way of life.
I have read in newspapers, and have also personally seen that the GHMC has started to clean up such places; then is drawing a rangoli; and putting up a notice that says throwing garbage at the said place is a crime.
I sincerely hope you succeed in this program, but this is a herculean task. I think you must involve the citizenry more into this program of sensitizing them about the need to not throw garbage *outside* of the garbage bin. One of the reasons people throw outside is because the existing bin overflows quite frequently.
Please note that these bins are quite huge, and can fill up only in 1-2 days. This means that GHMC vehicles are not regularly clearing the garbage bins. If the frequency of picking up garbage increases, then there will be no real reason why people will throw garbage on the ground. Even after this, if people do so, we can only rue the pathetic mindset of those people. But I believe this problem will go away if the frequency of picking up the garbage from the bins increases drastically.
Below are a few pictures and the description of areas where the pictures were taken.
This is a picture of a large open drainage in the heart of Hyderabad. For more dramatic effect, let me put out the exact location – About 1 km away from the Raj Bhavan; about 1.5 km away from the CM’s residence; and about 100 meters away from one of the city’s biggest hospital. It is really surprising that this drainage has remained so open over the years. I would like to humbly suggest that all such drainages be closed.
Now, what does closing mean? It should definitely not mean like the one below:
This picture is from right across the road of the first picture; meaning that on one side of the road, the drainage is partially closed, and on the other side, it is completely open. One cannot find any logical reason why this is the case. What is more baffling is that the drainage has only been partially closed! Stench still emanates from the open grill place at this drainage! I think GHMC must take up this job of closing the drainages on war footing.
The problem is not restricted to such large ones. Walking in the by lanes of Gachibowli area (for those who are not from Hyderabad, this area is close to HiTech City!), one comes across such small open nalas that emanate a stench disproportionate to their size! And they flow right next to residential areas.
There are many citizens who would wish to contribute to the success of the program. The dream of a Swach Hyderabad is achievable, and I am sure with a dynamic Mayor (who has already started mid night surprise checks) and an enthusiastic citizenry, this dream will soon become a reality. Hopefully the suggestions here will help achieve the dream sooner than later.