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Trash, disease abound at Russell Market

Akanksha Kashyap

Russell market is awash with garbage

Russell Market, one of Bengaluru’s oldest markets, has no respite from garbage. People of the area suffer skin infections caused by the trash.
“We are amid garbage all the time. Due to it, we suffer from a lot of skin diseases,” Muneer Pasha, a meat trader, informed The Observer.
Shopkeepers from the market visit the nearby Bowing and Lady Curzon Hospital frequently. “We go to Bowring Hospital almost once a week to get injections for the skin problems this unhygienic atmosphere causes,” Abdul Matin, another meat seller at the 91-year-old market, said. “Out of the 60 OPD patients we have from there, 40 suffer from tenia or scabies. Both these diseases are caused by poor hygiene which results from the huge amount of garbage present there,” officials of the hospital’s dermatology department noted.
Garbage is not the only issue bothering the shopkeepers. Drains at the market are clogged.
The traders say their business is affected. “No one wants to come to our shops. We have to deliver fish or meat to people’s homes which increases our work way,” Muneer Pasha said.
Fruits, vegetables and flowers are sold till late in the night, causing large quantities of waste to be generated.
According to the Municipality Solid waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000, a municipal corporation is responsible for mananging the waste it generates.
“The garbage used to be picked twice a day; but now it is lifted just once in a day with an occasional second time,” Amjad, who has sold vegetables in the market for 38 years, said.
Garbage is picked once, at around 7.30 am,” Raj, a flower seller, added.
BBMP executive engineer Babu said: “Every day the garbage is taken in the morning. It being a market area, whatever waste is generated after disposal takes time to be disposed of.”
Environmentalist A.N. Yellappa Reddy, a member of the board of governors at the Foundation for Ecological Security, informed The Observer: “The corporation is responsible for all the garbage collected at the marketplace.”
K Rasool Khan, director of KK Plastic Waste Management, said: “I don’t believe it is so hard to dispose of garbage from Russell Market, because the only waste generated there is fruit and vegetable waste.”