This is a reprint from NewsBred.
The striking municipal employees of Delhi this week relented after the high court intervention but it appears only a pause before it drops its broom again on rulng Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Typically, AAP sees the role of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its control of Capital's civic agencies behind this mess at their door.
Mess literally is at every door. In Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Ludhiana, Pune--name any city and any town. Strikes only put the pictures in front of our eyes, which we feint, dodge, duck, skirt, nose-block or sprint every day in front of proverbial dhalaos (proverbial garbage dump in our neighbourhoods). Now that you can't evade the headlines, pictures, putrid smell or rotting garbage on Capital's streets, and are pinned to the wall, brace for a knock-out punch.
India generates 62 million tonnes of trash every year by its nearly 400 million people living in urban India, now the world's third-largest garbage accumulator. The World Bank sees a 240-percent rise in it by 2026. Now hold your breath (pun intended); nearly 45 million tonnes of it is untreated. Put it this way, it amounts to nearly 3 million trucks that, if laid in a row, would scale half the distance between the earth and the moon.
So let's take a closer look at this mounting mess. Delhi and Mumbai (10,000 tonnes of garbage every day) are obviously top of the heap but lesser towns are no less alarming. Ludhiana has crossed 1,000 tonnes of waste a day and so has Nagpur or Indore. And all of this doesn't include the industrial waste. Rapid economic growth, flight to cities, overcrowding, pathetic urban planning, corruption--all have taken a heavy toll.
Last month, Mumbai was wrapped in toxic smog for days. So bad was the air quality that schools were ordered closed. It so happened that Deonar, one of Mumbai's biggest landfills, had suddenly caught fire. It receives 5,000 tonnes of waste every day.
Deonar, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) claims, would be shut down this year. The landfills in Gorai and Chincholi Bunder have already been closed due to over-use. Same is true of Mulund, which is facing a closure.