Monday, October 01, 2007

An appeal to IISc faculty in the new quarters

Garbage piles as far as the eye can see (click for larger image)
A little history first. Sometime last year, when the construction of the new faculty quarters had just started, someone, most likely the builders knocked down a piece of the Jubilee park back wall. Whether this was done with authorization or not, I don't know. This piece stayed knocked down. The construction workers began dumping debri and garbage there. With most of them living there full time you can imagine how much garbage that was. Most of it is still there.

Another view from the same place

A depression in the ground in this area of the park gets filled up with water. That year the rains were good and the pond that formed was quite large. It got used by the workers as a convenient shit spot. The place was a land-mine. Shit fortunately eventually degrades and so it doesn't seem to be there right now. I don't know what the arrangements are like for the workers working at the new buildings and I don't know if there's a risk of this recurring, here or elsewhere. I don't know what this place's situation is vis-a-vis the current construction. Not much I think, because now its largely abandoned.

The rough locations of these places on a satellite image from Google earth
The problem here right now is that the old garbage remains and seemingly is added to from the new faculty quarters. I don't know what garbage collection is like in that quarters, but my guess is it's spotty. At any rate, people tend to be lazy and garbage in India is often dumped at the closest available place . If there is a small garbage pile, it will soon be added to and there will be a large pile. Another pile will erupt when one overflows and so on the march of progress.

This was never your classical beautiful place, but it was not littered with plastic, shards of broken bottles, thermacol and a million polythene bags. It was not full of rats, never patrolled by a quite territorial pack of dogs who are understandably possessive of a rich pile of goodies. Its did not have the bones of many dead rats, eaten by someone, snakes most likely. And it most certainly did not teem, absolutely teem, with what to my overwhelmed ears sound like a million mosquitoes.

Aggregating caterpillars
My appeal to you is this, please have the place cleaned up and the wall sealed again. The place is a health hazard, to you, in more ways than one. To point each of them out again would be unsubtle and insulting to your intelligence. It is also a pretty nasty thing to do to a place if you respect and appreciate it. If there is to be any hope of this place getting any cleaner and not becoming a dumpyard, you will have to do something about it. There are few others who can and besides you have the strongest grounds for wanting something done.

The other images are also from the same area, from before, just to convince you that it's worth saving and to show what you might be saving.

Blue capped rock thrush
Directions from faculty apartments: Walk out of your gate, turn left, away from the Janata Bazaar and towards the end of that road. A little further down the mud road, you'll see a breached stone wall. Walk in and you'll be there.

Directions from the main Jubilee entrance: Walk in the gate, take the path directly to your right. The path is straight down and then you have to take a left. Keep an eye on the wire fence to your left, and walk in to the first breach in the fence. A little further in and you'll be there.

PS: Please those of you that read this blog pass this around

And finally: the Paradise flycatcher


Rahul said...

Did you get any responses about this?

Natasha said...

No I didn't but I hope its at least being read! Don't know for sure.

Rahul said...

A hard-copy print-out, on relevant notice boards (faculty club, coffee board, maybe the quarters themselves) may be a good idea, if you haven't already done so...

Arati said...

There is defintely some activity and interest from the faculty community and also amongst the campus care community team-we are e-talking about what to do. Thanks for creating a stir.

Natasha said...

Thanks for letting me know Aarti, I hope you can do something. Do let me know if I can help in anyway. And good luck!

Arati said...

Actually, Abi (T.A. Abinandan-Materials Engineering) called attention to your blog site and is attempting to give it wider coverage plus bouncing action plans.

Natasha said...

Oh great! I must write him a thank-you note. I know that he reads the blog. He comments here sometimes and often links to the blog as well.

I was hoping that he would read this and pass it around. Also any others who might be reading the blog would pick up on it. I thought it might be easier to get a more influential bunch of people interested in and going after the issue rather than me on my own.

I do hope things work out.

joyshree said...

hi natz,

it was really nice of u to start spreading awareness about the situation of jubilee gardens in time. feels good to be part of the clean up drive today. hope the move that started today attracts the attention of more people, and the cleanliness of that place restored soon.

Natasha said...

Thanks Joy, I'll be writing about the clean-up and posting some of the photos by the end of today.

It was really great fun, I haven't done anything like that in a long time!