Crows feast near the Rose Corner of Jubilee Park on Monday morning. Picture by Bhola Prasad
Thermocol plates, plastic glasses and leftover food are greeting morning-walkers at Jubilee Park these days.
Nearly 1,100 people, who visit the 237-acre green lung daily to stay fit and healthy, have started complaining of litter at various places in the park over the past fortnight. Jamshedpur Morning Walkers’ Association member and president of Singhbhum Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) Suresh Sonthalia had a frightening experience this Sunday.
“I have been a morning-walker at Jubilee Park for over a decade now. I cover a distance of nearly 2.5km from my Ashiana Garden home in Sonari to enjoy the serene ambience. Nowadays, we come across garbage left behind by people after their evening adda. On Sunday, a pack of stray dogs was feasting on leftover food. As I walked briskly by, one of them barked and leaped at me. It was scary,” said Sonthalia.
He added that the litter bore testimony to lack of civic sense among citizens who throng the park.
The SCCI president pointed out that the flow of evening visitors had been more all this while owing to the heat. “People relax at the park with their families in the evenings. But, instead of throwing waste in the vats before they head home, they leave it littered wherever they sit,” he added.
Jubilee Park has five big garbage vats and eight hanging bins for waste disposal, but few seem to care.
Another member of the morning-walkers’ outfit, Shanker Gupta, said leftover food was the cause of problems.
“Stray dogs tug at plastic bags full of stale food and leave them on the road and paver blocks. These hinder fitness activities and cause problems for walkers and joggers. Also, many of us consider it auspicious to feed pigeons. The canines chase them away,” said Gupta, a builder by profession.
Bistupur-based trader Divesh Makhani pointed out that Jusco, which is entrusted with maintaining Jubilee Park, could do more. “For instance, it can place boards informing people about vats and deploy more security guards to ask visitors to throw waste only in dustbins,” he said.
Jusco spokesperson Rajesh Rajan accused citizens of being irresponsible. “We have tried to inculcate civic sense through shramdaan activities during the picnic season. We have also kept vats and dustbins in the park. What can we do if people still don’t behave responsibly. We have told our guards to ask people to use dustbins,” he said.
He added that the park was cleaned twice every day — in the morning and in the evening. “But litterbugs leave the green patch dirty late in the evening after cleaning is done.”
Should food be banned inside Jubilee Park?