Both the skyline and the landscape across Mysuru are witnessing a steady change each passing year. More appropriately, the time-honoured residential areas in Mysore of yesteryears have made the city already bearing the brunt of unsightly multistorey dwellings and barren roads and avenues with hundreds of fully-grown trees gone forever. Old timers of Mysore, visiting their beloved city after a gap of barely a decade, are sure to be wondering whether they are in a totally strange territory, with their single-storeyed houses demolished without trace yielding place to glitzy showrooms of cars, two-wheelers, smart phones, televisions, eateries offering exotic dishes, dental clinics and so on amidst high-rise structures. Even the change in the name of the city from the anglicised Mysore to the heritage name Mysuru may not soothe their heart and mind, leaving a deep scar of sadness and disenchantment. They cannot be faulted for seeing the city’s stay-put residents in poor light for choosing to be mute witness to the worsening plight of the city.
Of the magnificent structures created during the rule of past kings of the erstwhile Princely State of Mysore, their stately statues and also Amba Vilas (Mysore Palace) have staved off the bulldozers being put into action by later administrations in the name of development. So also, barring a few beautiful parks laid out many decades ago, most of them have been left in a state of neglect, giving an open invitation to litter the spaces.
The key components of a city, namely its total headcount, their dwellings, infrastructure including buildings for educational institutions, offices of government departments, hospitals, hostels, trading and playgrounds, volatile as they are as time passes must be in optimum numbers to prevent disorder similar to what every city is experiencing due to cluttering the roads and open spaces with automobiles in numbers beyond their capacity. Add to the load Mysuru has been burdened with steadily rising presence of its aforementioned components, the latest demonic item bugging the city is the mass of garbage, currently estimated at 500 tonnes daily. Littering the city’s space, particularly roadsides and open spaces with disdain by Mysureans has outdone the municipal machinery in its task of de-garbaging the city.
The latest to be bestowed attention by the civic body is the space of vacant residential sites playing host to not only garbage but also bushy plants and parthenium, which should be appropriately described as green garbage. The civic body has just initiated a measure to rein in this mass and those who generate it. Its success depends on the law-abiding citizens joining the administration.