An army of Trinamul volunteers and conservancy workers descended on the Maidan on Friday to remove garbage equal to the weight of 22 full-grown elephants, remnants of Mamata Banerjee’s massive rally the previous day.
The 150 volunteers, armed with brooms and large garbage disposal bags, had started the jumbo task on Thursday itself. They were back at 6am on Friday with 100-odd workers to ensure that the litter was removed “at the earliest, as instructed by the chief minister”.
Used food packets, polythene bags, paper cups, newspapers and fruit peel constituted the chunk of the garbage. “We removed nearly 65 tonnes of garbage on 13 trucks. We also had two garbage compactor machines,” said Debabrata Majumder, mayoral council member (solid waste management), Calcutta Municipal Corporation.
Holes dug to erect electricity poles were filled and the dirtier patches washed and sprayed with bleaching powder. “Our people worked till dusk,” said housing minister Aroop Biswas.
By 4pm, Maidan regulars found the entire stretch fit to walk and play on. “We had not expected the ground to be cleared of garbage so early,” said Gautam Sinha, taking an evening stroll.
Thursday’s Brigade rally was the largest Trinamul gathering, eclipsing the 5-lakh turnout at a rally on July 21, 2012. That rally had generated 60 tonnes of garbage.