Corruption Underlying Cause of Indian Sanitation Problems
If you watch Indian movies, then you may not realize that many of the scenes are shot in beautiful locations outside of India. A main reason for this is that the trash build up is making what was once a very beautiful country begin to look filthy. Now, Indians are just like any other people in the world–they prefer cleanliness over filth. Then you may ask, why is there nothing being done to stop the growth of landfills across India? Unfortunately this answer is similar to many other problems in India: Corruption.
Many corporations have been attempting to use the garbage pick-up systems to make money for themselves. Since they are paid based on the weight of the garbage, they add stones and other items to make the garbage weigh more and increase their pay. The garbage is just dumped onto huge landfills piles, which are nowadays towering close to 100 feet in certain locations, and even interfering with local airports and airplanes. Sanitation companies have signed contracts to pick up and get rid of all the garbage, but they haven’t been doing so. They have just been adding the garbage to landfills, and not doing anything to get rid of it.
Cities can generate about 5000 tons of garbage per day. Statistics prove that India produces 27 million more tons of waste than the United States per year. To try and get rid of some of the garbage, people cleared out one hectare of garbage and brought it to ground level and used it grow a garden using the help of the enzymes of bacteria and herbal all-natural products with no chemicals. This method cost 3 crore rupees (Indian currency, equivalent to $490,290 in US dollars).
When the authorities found about this process, they weren’t too pleased by it, and used a different method that is used by foreign countries called “Capping and Closure“. In this method, a green “carpet” is planted over the garbage so that it appears that there is no garbage, whereas it is actually leaking underneath, emitting toxins into the air, and leaking dirty water that is poisoning the soil in the ground. This method costs about 69 crore rupees, or $11,276,670 US dollars to clear out the same amount of ground, and it isn’t even working well to get rid of the garbage, it just hides it.
Many of these landfills are located on the outskirts of main cities and in rural areas, where the less privileged live. In cities like Bangalore, the toxins that are being emitted by the garbage are leading to diseases and the birth of deformed children.
New methods have been introduced to find ways to get rid of the waste. Some farmers feed the waste to animals, producing more fertile dung, which can be used as a chemical-free fertilizer. Another man, Professor Vasudevan from the Thiagarajar College of Engineering in Madurai has come up with a method of using plastic to create a better material to make roads with, that will last longer than materials used in the status quo, and will also reduce the chance of potholes created by monsoons and other such events. His story was told on the television show, Satyamev Jayate, hosted by Bollywood Film actor Aamir Khan.
It is unfortunate that a country’s health and beauty is being taxed due to the greed of some people. One way that you as a person can help is to separate your wet garbage (unfinished food, etc.) from your dry garbage (plastic bottles, rags, etc.). If everyone can work together towards a common goal in India, the nation can overcome the corruption and regain some of its lost beauty.[Image Attribute: Allianz]