KNP Bylane Story – April to October 2012

This is the story of the bylane connecting Kamla Nehru Park Road with Bhandarkar Road. There are three bylanes – the one next to Hotel Raviraj is tiled, while the other two had been dug up for laying pipes. Out of these two, one had turned into a garbage dump while the other was ‘relatively’ cleaner.

KNP by lane March 2012 The photo was taken on 4th March 2012  – this was the usual picture in the lane that was being used as a garbage dump. Garbage filled the lane and it overflowed on the narrow street. It was impossible for the sweepers to reach the middle of the lanes and no one tried – the work was just too overwhelming.
On  29th April, DGPS organised a Vcollect drive at the park and a clean up of one lane with PMC sweepers and Swach workers.
Pots early May On 29th April, we kept two palm pots and one Ficus plant at the entrance of the lane and on 19th May 2012, neighbours put out 3 more pots there.
Vandals end May We were watering every day and the PMC sweeper said there was more than 50% reduction in the garbage being thrown here. While we continued to water and be in touch with the sweeper and pushing the Ward Office for a  notice board,  on 22nd May, someone broke the pots and stole one pot.
That day itself, we put the mud back and set the pots right.
Signboard up May Though some garbage continued to be thrown here, and a couple of pots vanished, the overall reduction in garbage was still heartening. Three of us then went scouting in the garbage to see if we could find out who it belonged to. While we found no clear evidence in the bags thrown at the mouth of the lane, we struck gold in the middle – and furnished that evidence to the people whose names and addresses were on the envelopes. They were of course shocked, but were told that they had to keep a closer eye on their servant/gardeners, separate wet and dry waste and give the dry to the ragpickers or Swach. And on 26th May the official notice board came up.
Daybefore4 Since then we alerted the Pay and Park watchman, the Kamla Nehru Park watchman and other sweepers on the road to keep watch on this lane. Yet there are always hiccoughs, when the sweeper was on leave for instance. The board for No Dumping came up on the other side of the lane in the second week of June.
Bylane wall done On 14th June the Swachh workers began painting the message of segregation on the wall of Vishnuprasad, however, they painted on the wrong part of the wall. This had to be white-washed, but Mr. Thepde, who has his office in that building offered to brick and plaster the inner walls of the lane at his expense. The lane looked much better already!
DGPS followed up with the corporators and at Ward Office meetings, asking for tiling of the pathways so that they could be kept clean. Meanwhile, garbage dumping continued, though at a much reduced level. Finally at the end of August we were invited by the corporators for the inauguration of the tiling of the lanes. These were the pictures from the four ends of the lanes the day before the tiling began. Daybefore2Daybefore3
The day of the inauguration of the tiling, the corporators, ward office staff, residents of the lane and DGPS members were all together. The garbage was cleared and the work began! Inauguration1Inauguration2
It took a month for the work of tiling to be completed, bollards were fixed at all four ends of the lanes, light poles were fixed and space was created for plants. Residents around the lanes followed up with the contractor to make sure work was on track. Tiling1
This is what the lane that was a garbage dump looks like in the middle of October. Bollards1DSC01565
PlantsOct This is what the lane that was a garbage dump looks like in the middle of October.

Will garbage dumping stop completely? That is doubtful, littering unfortunately is everywhere in our Prabhaag. This story has just shown that a difference can be made. It can be done through persistence, through a lot of group support where everyone put in effort at different stages, residents have come together with the corporators and the Ward Office to make the success story.