A child sleeps on a dustbin turned upside down in Ranchi. Picture by Hardeep Singh
The capital's civic guardians installed around 700 colourful dustbins across 55 wards in Ranchi recently to help people maintain hygiene and cleanliness. But, the drive, unfortunately, has been unable to instil a sense of civic responsibility among citizens.
People at some places are using the pink-and-black bins gifted by Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) for purposes other than dumping solid waste.
A dustbin placed near the old campus of the district education office beside the road connecting Kishori Yadav Chowk with Kutchery Road was found turned upside down a few days ago. And a two-year-old boy was sleeping on it.
Amused by the "innovation" when this correspondence clicked the "trash can-turned-cradle", the child's mother, Sumitra Devi, came running. She was selling fruits from a makeshift stall on the roadside. Though initially she was upset to see the unwanted visitor, she soon realised that it was her improvisation that was drawing attention.
"Actually, the bin is not cleaned regularly. I clean it every day and then use it - sometimes as a cradle and sometimes as a seat. Made of iron, it can be used for multi-purposes," Sumitra, a resident of Lake Road area, said.
She has been selling fruits here for years and her husband works as a mason.
Councillor of ward No. 37 Arun Kumar Jha shared another act of improvisation by some people of his area.
"I noticed children using the dustbins near Veerkunwar Singh Chowk and Deendayal Chowk in Harmu Housing Colony to burn bonfire at night a week ago. Due to this, the bins have already become discoloured. When I took strong exception to this, the children fled. I am really concerned about the security of these dustbins, which I got installed after a long struggle," he said.
Interestingly, each garbage bin, worth Rs 800, is tied with a lock and a chain that attach it with a fixed structure, like electric pole, tree etc, to ensure safety against theft. But the civic authorities are now puzzled how to protect these bins against out-of-the-box ideas.
RMC's chief executive officer Manoj Kumar admitted the problem and said he had already directed supervisors of all the wards to take action in the matter. "I have received similar complaints about misuse of dustbins from different wards. The supervisors have been asked to take action against those people. No one is allowed to misuse public property," he said.