Tuesday, May 29, 2007


-By Roto Chobin

Ziro; once a picturesque town in the valley is undergoing a major transmutation. It is now being smothered by a deepening layer of plastic trash and household waste. The drains are choked with carcasses, plastic bags, biscuit wrappers, drink and detergents bottles, and myriad of bottle caps which induce flood [sic] at ya-dee baa lya (Hao po lyang), in particular, during rainy season. And every road has become the ad hoc sites where the garbage is simply jettisoned, creating a mire and stink all around, besides being breeding grounds for diseases. It reflects not only our retarded mindset but also gives an impression to outsider that no educated person lives in this valley.

The people are aware when they toss away the garbage carelessly that it creates more harm than good. Needless to say, it affects our health and hygiene. Even so, the amount of filth is growing day after day in the housing estate, like engineer colony, hilltop, Para line and so forth. Even in the vicinity of town, plastic wrappers of different shape, size and color stubbornly make their presence felt. To prove the point, you’ve to walk one kilometer away from Hao po lyang or en route to Itanagar where the waste materials, collected from market place just dumped there to putrefy and greet every tourist who visits Ziro. Besides; if observed carefully, you will find that every household dispose more than a kilogram of waste (mostly polythene bags) everyday on an average and, at this rate, our town will soon be buried under mountains of synthetic waste in a decade or two. And more importantly, how can we ignore the highly toxic waste that disposed by medical unit of Ziro without much thought? The foul smell emanating from burning the waste material in medical compound is a cause for concern. Interestingly, even our very own capital Itanagar is in the grip of slipshod. While passing through Karsingsa, a familiar scene caught my attention - garbage shucked off from town was piling up near Karsingsa. I’m afraid it won’t take too long when this ‘Sinking Zone’ will be identified as ‘Stinking Zone’. AS I proceed to Naharlagun; with all the haphazard building structure and trash accumulating at many loci, the town looked sloppier than ever before.

A decade ago, when the Pepsico and Coca Cola Company had still not penetrated into the market of Arunachal Pradesh, the town was uncontaminated and more manageable. In other words, I blame these companies amongst other for littering and dumping non bio-degradable stuff in our compounds. They are so happy and engross in making profit and hauling their products at every nook and corner that they forget about recycling. Just printing “Do Not Litter” at the label is not enough. If they have any regard for environment, they need to build a recycling plant along with bottling plant. Would someone tell the big companies that flora and fauna including us, the human race survive when we sustain our environment?

Above all, the detached attitude of an individual towards civic responsibilities makes the matter from bad to worse. There is hardly a person who really concern about the environment degradation. The people of Ziro may find time to indulge themselves on anything but cleanliness. Given the opportunity, they will not hesitate to get rid of their junk by thrusting it to neighbor’s yard. It is a bit ironic while the whole town including our front yard and backyard is unpleasantly malodorous; most of the people still sashay in most fashionable attire as if they were competing with the people at Fifth Avenue in New York, Bond Street in London and Malls in Hong Kong. It is hard to believe this entire glitzy facade behind which lays squalor and incredible stolidity for cleanliness.

Some years back the Authorities at Ziro tried a pathetic attempt to ban the use of polythene bags, but without a stringent implementation of rules and regulations, the ban died the quiet death. Subsequently, the poly bags returned to the market with a vengeance, allowing some pro-ban to grumble at the authorities’ incapability and inefficiency. To tackle core problems such as this, the authority needs to launch a sensitization programme to transform the people into guardians, rather than predators. They should also promote pragmatic programmes where even a primary school student will learn to regard the civic obligation.

I reckon, no matter how hard one may try to make aware the people from their slipshod they will keep hurling their trash to neighbour’s yard just to keep theirs clean. And by the time the people will experience an awakening, our soul-nourishing, eye-catching valley may lapse into an ugly and neglected part.


Post a Comment