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What rubbish!

delhi Updated: Sep 17, 2008 01:15 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

The civic bodies and alert citizens have devised a foolproof way to stop terrorists from planting bombs in dustbins in the future: they have turned the dustbins upside down.

The Delhi Police admitted on Tuesday that searching all dustbins was now part of their routine work. "We are looking inside dustbins and other places in ensuring that no other explosives are planted," Delhi Police spokesman Rajan Bhagat said, adding that the police never asked civic bodies to turn over the dustbins.

As a side effect, though, people now have no way but to throw waste around the upturned bins, giving the roadsides of the NDMC areas a never-before filthy look.

“After unwrapping, say, an ice cream, there is no civil way to throw the wrapper here anymore. It’s dirtying the footpaths and the roads,” said Neha Chaturvedi, a DU student in Connaught Place. Small heaps of waste can be seen piled up under and around the bins at several places.

Officially, however, no one is willing to own up to this idea, which is arguably one of the most innovative measures against terrorism in India.

“We have not issued orders to upturn the bins. Frightened people must have done it themselves. However, our staff and contractors have been asked to set the bins right wherever needed. May of them have been already set straight,” said a senior NDMC official.

Delhi Metro, on the other hand, is one place where an official decree did remove all the dustbins from platforms after the blasts. “It is a short-term measure. But we are not sure when we will bring them back,” said Delhi Metro spokesman Anuj Dayal.

But the sheer irony of the whole thing is not lost on people. “The way they went after dustbins, one would feel that it was the dustbins’ fault that they were used by terrorists,” joked Ganesh, who runs a paan shop nar Barakhamba Road.

Some are outraged at what they called a mindless, panic-stricken approach to security. "Do they feel a bomb cannot be planted anywhere other than dustbins? Someone could easily plant a bomb in the heaps of garbage piling up. It is a knee-jerk reaction, which does not make us feel safe, but just adds to the inconvenience," said Manohar Joshi, a government official.