Every single time when I am asked “where are you from?” and I reply “Udaipur”, the response that I get “oh wow! Lucky you, what a beautiful city you belong to!”
But every single trip to my hometown breaks my heart. I usually visit Udaipur at least 4-5 times every year.
Why do I feel heartbroken? I can’t imagine what will be left of Udaipur for our future generations to enjoy if we continue like this.
Delhi’s pollution is monitored regularly and is always in news. Let’s not say “Air Quality is deteriorating everywhere”. That’s no excuse because we talk of our beauty “Udaipur”. If we don’t monitor it and make changes at home “Dilli door nahi” and unmonitored it will only impact the aam aadmi.
Have you noticed the sky colour? Please do. Do you see more grey or blue?
Check out my 1st Picture I took recently on a morning walk. This is the trash generated at one site on a single previous evening. Clearly, these are not biodegradables. So, now we need to know what’s happening with this tons of non-biodegradables. If it’s going in landfills- we should be worried. If they are getting burnt- we should be equally worried. Why can’t we convince vendors to use traditional donna-pattal, ereca palm or sugarcane bagasse crockery? The cost is zero on environment. Sensitisation needed for minimum use of plastic, especially single use plastic.
Governments may ban or not ban single use plastic or even after banning who will implement the ban successfully. But for our own good we must shun single use plastic. No straws, no foil plates, no thermocol/plastic plates and that means absolutely no single use plastic in any shape or size. Only recyclable and reusable plastic should be used where necessary.
Water crisis is looming large everywhere. Udaipur has lost a lot of green cover. I am told lot of hills were cut recently. Lack of rainfall for many reasons. What happens next? Tanker mafia will make hay in those times. Let’s try n convince educated people to do rain water harvesting n more methods for water conservation should be explored and publicised. I am sure water is a lifeline for tourism too. There will be lot of support from that sector too. Fingers crossed!
Udaipur being a grade C city has a lot of shared tempos. All public transports should be made CNG. Again public opinion! We need numbers for authority to wake up.
Have you noticed a lot of plastic being thrown from neemuch mata temple. Imagine the goddessbeing so upset for dirtying her place of abode. The hill has a lot of plastic gifts left behind like polythenes, bottles, chips packets etc. What a shame! If you look closely Fateh Sagar has a lot of plastic waste floating around.
And the city has some crazy Mindless construction going on? Endless list.
What can we all do? I am not an expert, but I am sure we have lots of experts in Udaipur.
We can first segregate our waste at source (at home, in different dustbins, easily doable) and ask the authorities what they do with our waste:
1. Wet waste or kitchen waste- can be composted at home. Many you tube videos available how to do or buy a daily dump composter. I can vouch for that.
2. Plastic waste can be sold to kabaddi wala- even milk packets- wash them n keep them.
3. E-waste- which is very dangerous if thrown carelessly- batteries, electronic items. Else it goes in landfills n in our drinking water. Need to give it carefully to right organisation.
4. Hazardous waste- diapers n sanitary pads: does it go in landfills? Or is there a govt. approved incinerator?
5. Besides this, let’s promise never to buy a mineral water bottle and always carry our own water.
6. Last but not the least always carry bags when we step out to shop. No plastic bags.
Check out my pictures of so much trash burning in Udaipur. Should there not be a training of waste pickers? They should not only be trained, but also made to feel our own and they will eventually take pride in their work. It’s a very important job they are doing. They protect us like the soldiers.
Many will argue oh! But it’s upto the government to do.
I agree, why should I even raise a finger? But it’s also the responsibility of the citizens to participate. Governments will only work on agendas which seems to give them limelight and environment is never on their agenda. We can’t see air, hence we never know the air quality. We live in a world where emotive issues capture the headlines. I am sure Udaipur is an emotive issue for us. It’s not like any city. It is a city which can make many green with envy. We may be divided in the name of caste, religion, political opinion but our love for Udaipur unites us. We should unite and find experts to guide us. We need to make public opinion and make the authority take notice of our city going downhill. If you feel upset, please raise your hand.
Contributed by: Mohita Bhansali. Mohita Bhansali lives in NCR and longs to return to Udaipur in the near future.