Grow up, Mumbai! City ain't your garbage bin

Published: Jan 17, 2020, 05:11 IST | The Editorial | Mumbai

The least a commuter can do is to keep food wrappers and plastic bottles in bags instead of tossing them out of the window and door

File pic
File pic

Almost all of us, at some point of schooling, have learnt not to litter and respect our public property, but only a few seem to remember that a bin, not the entire city, is where you dump your trash. The forgetful citizens of Mumbai uncaringly toss their garbage on the roads, in the sea, trains and on the tracks.

This carelessness led to a mishap recently; a goods train derailed because the track on the Kurla-Trombay line was covered in garbage heap. The incident took place on Tuesday midnight and disrupted the services on the CR's Harbour Line, stranding scores of commuters in locals and on stations. But, we must not forget that in a different scenario, this could have been fatal. One can only guess what would have happened if a passenger train, which runs at almost double the speed of a freight train, was on the littered tracks that night.

Even though there was no casualty, it does prove that garbage on tracks is not as innocuous as it sounds. Because littering public places is so commonplace, we have perhaps become inured to this behaviour and tend to be dismissive.

The least a commuter can do is to keep food wrappers and plastic bottles in bags instead of tossing them out of the window and door. There are bins on platforms where you can dump them, or just throw them in the trash bags when you reach home. The railways should also ensure there are enough bins on the platforms. It does run muck trains to sweep up the litter on the tracks but even technology pales and fails when people lack basic civic manners.

While people need to become responsible citizens, the city administration must also see to it that there are plenty disposal bins in the slum located close to the stations and tracks. Moreover, instead of having just one chapter or one class on civic behaviour, students must be taught about waste management from the first day of school. Meanwhile, the civic administration can consider imposing strict fines for littering.

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