GUWAHATI: Here is the flip side (other side) of festivals that stinks. The festival whose flip side is highlighted here is Diwali that has been being celebrated in Guwahati since November 6.
Firecrackers generating sounds of whatever decibel are heard all throughout the night during every Diwali, and there is no exception to that this year. Diverse varieties of lamps, including Assam’s indigenous sakis, keep the entire night glowing. One of the mostly used locally-available decorative items in Diwali is plantain without which Diwali seems to be incomplete. It’s well and good that a section of local people earn an honest buck by selling plantains during the Diwali when the demand of the item is very high. It has been noticed since November 6, 2018 that a section of local people doing a brisk business with an otherwise negligible commodity – plantain. Along with plantain some other materials like mud paste are greatly used during Diwali as decorative items. Add to them are ashes of firecrackers and other materials that make most of the mass of Diwali debris in Guwahati.
Heaps of garbage lying at Fancy Bazar and some other places were in Guwahati on Wednesday – adding woes to the already pathetic garbage disposal system in the city. The water content of plantain being very high, such masses of debris stink when kept for a longer period without being disposed of. The Diwali garbage on Jail Road was kept without being disposed of for over 12 hours.
“This is a common scene after every festival. People celebrate every festival to the full. We also join them in such celebrations. Such festivals leave behind a lot of things, and the largest among them is garbage that comprises plantain, mud paste, sakis, covers of firecrackers and many more. When they are thrown into some particular spots, they make huge garbage heaps. As usual, the GMC is not agile enough to clean garbage. This heap of garbage has been lying here without being disposed of for over 12 hours. It has started stinking,” a trader of Fancy Bazar, who does not want his name to be disclosed, said.
This has happened at a time when the entire administration, including the Pollution Control Board, Assam (PCBA), has been busy in ensuring ‘Green Diwali’. The order banning bursting of firecrackers issued by the Supreme Court of India has much to achieve. Diwali is such a festival that makes a section of people not hesitant to defy the standing ban on firecrackers.
It was seen during the Durga Puja this year and last year that puja committees were made to carry out cleanliness drives so as to keep the city clean after the festivity. The move did receive accolades from many. However, such agility, it seems, is missing in celebrating the Diwali. Since Diwali is a celebration involving almost every household the formula that was used during the Durga Puja may not click here. However, the onus of devising a clicking formula to keep the city clean during and after Diwali certainly lies with the administration and the PCBA. When much stress is being laid on ‘Green Diwali’ the aspect of cleanliness, it seems, has been let loose. Is it not mockery of the ‘Green Diwali?’