Stricter fines, better civic sense and effective waste management can help solve Delhi’s mounting garbage crisis, say Delhi residents.
People who have lived abroad say civic agencies there have state-of-theart infrastructure to collect and process waste. Residents also pitch in equally by segregating garbage and keeping the city clean.Nikhil Choudhary, who has stayed in Dubai and Abu Dhabi for five years, says: "Every building has a waste duct for disposal. The garbage is dropped at nearest waste bins where it is collected by the municipality. Each day, municipal workers wash pavements and public areas at different times."
Cleanliness is mandatory in the UAE and people’s contribution helps the country build its tourist, corporate and social image, says Choudhary, an IIT Delhi graduate and a resident of south Delhi’s Alaknanda.
“The municipality in Abu Dhabi has developed a mobile application where you can click pictures and send complaints for action. Waste collected is sent to industrial zone recycling plants. In India, there is a low chance you will even find a dustbin,” explained Choudhary.
Residents say there is an immediate need to change the mindset and to introduce a stringent law and hefty fine for littering.
They say even if the civic body is equipped with a good garbage disposal system, it can’t keep the city clean if people do not follow rules.
The same people who follow all rules when abroad for fear of fine litter fearlessly back home, they say.
“All the residents are aware and segregate waste at home and keep recyclable waste in separate packets. These packets are dumped at mechanized garbage trucks that go for door-to-door collection or at community bins. When people take pets out for poop, they carry a bag to pick up the poop once the pet is done,” said Onkar Singh, who has stayed in New York for 30 years and is a green card holder.
People abroad do not litter in public as they will be fined. The sense of belongingness also deters them from doing so. “There are surveillance cameras on the streets and markets. If anyone is caught flouting rules, including littering, it gets updated in his or her records. It is mandatory for the defaulter to pay the fine, which is quite hefty,” Singh said.
Residents abroad do not look down at sanitation staff. They pack their garbage in such a way that it easy to for the staff to collect it and the muck does not spill onto the streets.
“Everyone packs their waste in packets. In Amsterdam, the council installs temporary open toilets during fairs or festivals. People do throw cans and napkins on the streets but these are immediately picked by the council employees. I failed to find a public toilet at the busy Nehru Place market and had to go to the metro station,” said Abhiskek Gaur, Saket resident, who has stayed in Amsterdam for four years and three years in London.