OFFICIALS OF the Lucknow Municipal Corporation are sweating over the idea of cleaning up the city from the ‘election garbage’ spread by contestants, once the elections are over.
According to an LMC official, “All candidates cutting across political lines have misused their freedom to campaign for the elections. They have put up all publicity material including buntings, posters, banners, etc made of plastic. They have even stuck posters on statues of great personalities.” According to a rough estimate by LMC officials, nearly 30 truckloads of plastic buntings have been used by the 700 candidates, contesting elections in 110 wards of the city.
Besides, the candidates have used 50 truckloads of other campaign material during their poll campaign which are hazardous to the environment and city’s cleanliness.
“It is regrettable that people who are supposed to protect the city’s environment once they take over as corporators are harming it instead. Where to dispose of such harmful items is the big question bothering us. We have already selected some sites to dispose these election material, but we fear opposition from residents as burying plastic could be objected,” said municipal Commissioner Ram Bodh Maurya, adding, “There are some sites where brick kiln owners have created a big space. We will dig 20 feet further and bury the plastic buntings and plastic campaign material in the trench. It’s unfortunate how all candidates have put the environment issue on the backburner.
Candidates cutting across party lines have defaced the city and cleaning job has been left to us.”
According to Maurya, LMC will have to spend lakhs of rupees on the cleanup after the poll. “ The LMC will have to deploy manpower, waste petrol, diesel, etc in the operation, besides on ensuring safe disposal of plastic material,” said Maurya. According to secretary of environment group Prithvi Innovations Anuradha Gupta, “ It’s unfortunate how politicians play with the environment most. People should not vote for people harming the environment.”
According to an official of the UP Pollution Control Board, the plastic buntings cannot be recycled and don’t degrade for hundreds of years. It even affects the nearby crops where it is buried.