Punekars join forces to clean up rubbish on Fergusson College hill

May 05, 2014, 08:23 IST | Priyankka Deshpande

After details of clean-up drive were posted on social media, six eco-warriors from Pune met to clear the slope where waste had been collecting for years

Troubled by the revolting spectacle of garbage strewn across the hill located in Fergusson College premises, a group of young professionals yesterday came together to rid the place of the rubbish.

Before and After: Litter strewn across the slope at Fergusson College; (below) the hill after it was cleaned yesterday

Acting on their own initiative, the six eco-warriors cleaned up the hill, collecting 20 bags of rubbish. The concerned citizens decided not to approach the civic body, but made it their own responsibility to clean up the mound of filth. These young professionals met on the popular social networking site Facebook, where like-minded netizens were requested to join hands to undertake the Herculean task.

“The citizen’s response towards the garbage issue does not go beyond blaming the civic authority. Although it is the collective responsibility of both the college management and the concerned ward office to clean the garbage on this particular hill, I personally felt it was the citizens’ responsibility, and therefore took the initiative,” said IT professional Kuldeep Barve.

Untouched for years
“We were shocked to see the garbage spread across the entire hill. It seems that it wasn’t cleaned for many years. We didn’t know where to start from,” said Sumita Kale, a volunteer and member of Deccan Gymkhana Parisar Samiti.

“We worked for almost two hours and collected two kinds of hazardous material — plastic and thermocol,” said animal lover Sushma Date.

According to the volunteers, the college authorities should conduct a drive in collaboration with the civic body at least twice a year, to keep the hill slope free of litter.

PMC speaks

“We can’t take suo motu action. In such cases, we issue notices and ask the responsible authority to keep the area clean. In this particular case, it would be the responsibility of the college authority, as the hill is in their premises. If they want our help, we would provide them our machinery with necessary charges,” said Madhav Jagtap, assistant commissioner, Ghole Road Ward office

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