Saturday, June 24, 2006

Garbage Collection New Bombay "Ishtyle"

Recovering from a mild attack of the fevers. That’s why I didn’t post yesterday. Um, what to say, today is bleak as bleak can be. The rains are finally here. I like the rains in the countryside that is in Kerala. But the rain in Bombay is depressing.
The road to the place where I work is depressingly slushy. This place is called Turbhe Naka. It is central hiring place for laborers in New Bombay where I live. Several puddles of water accumulate. Someone remarked that this road is as it has been for the last twenty years. Yet nothing has been done. Flies breed, garbage lies uncleared, people – the sort who don’t look as if they have slept for days – walk about in a trance. There are poultry shops, hotels, barbershops, and grocery stores all in a nightmarish accumulation of dirt and filth.
One of the reasons for the filth is garbage clearance. When New Bombay started as the twin city of Bombay they had mechanical garbage clearance with garbage compaction and all those gizmos. Then suddenly they decided to employ what is know as “ghata gadis” or “bell trucks” to collect garbage. The idea is for a truck to come to doorsteps and collect garbage by ringing a bell mounted on the truck. The garbage bins have been dispensed with since uniformed workers collect the garbage directly from homes.
The problem is people had got used to the old system of garbage collection and refuse to follow the new – and immensely outdated – system. They dump the garbage where the old garbage bins used to be, though there isn’t a bin there anymore. Most areas of New Bombay have this problem and I see mounds of garbage everywhere.
And what was the reason for changing over to an antiquated and arcane system of collecting garbage from every doorstep? Because, according to unconfirmed sources, the man who runs the garbage collection trucks happens to be the father-in-law of a politician who wields considerable power in New Bombay.
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