PACHU MENON, MARGAO
THE recent focus on putting an end to open defecation in the country, especially in villages, is a step in the right direction. With most of rural India still resorting to open defecation, the ‘toilet movement’ however continues to be a public issue only on celluloid screens and advertising media without infusing much enthusiasm in those for whom the ‘crusade’ is more relevant. Not to say that urban India is an epitome of cleanliness! In fact, the embarrassment of the act has been manifold in town and cities where photographs of people squatting along railway tracks and at other public places have given so much of negative publicity to the country. Somehow plans envisioned to eliminate the social malaise do not seem to have hit the right note in creating a buzz. Compounded with the sanitation problem, mounds of garbage which appear to pile up with every passing day is seemingly giving sleepless nights to civic authorities who are at their wits ends planning ways for its disposal. The importance of waste management gains all the more importance in modern times considering the trash generation due to various ‘automations’ that describe processes industrial and otherwise which go to make our everyday lives that much easier. With collection and transportation of refuse as the initial steps of waste management suffering due to a number of reasons, the ‘disposal’ component of the whole process never appears to take off. This then is a bane of urban life in India. Hence the news that Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has sought collaboration of the Defence Research Development Organisation to address public latrine and garbage issues in the state could be seen as an earnest pursuit of a solution. Mobile toilets and garbage collection centres could soon address issues of lack of public toilets and garbage problems in Goa with the state government asking the DRDO to come out with a technology that converts old buses for this purpose. With the government working on a proposal to convert the condemned Kadmaba buses into portable toilets and garbage collection centres on a trial basis, the decks are being cleared for a grand technological innovation that will be of immense help to Goans.