While discussing the many water bodies in Chennai that have run dry, the officer said he was disheartened to learn that people had already begun turning them into dumping yards. “I want to speak as a normal citizen, not a government representative. Honestly, if citizens consider water bodies as assets and think of it as their r responsibility to protect, I will be the happiest,” he said.
The official has been in irrigation and water-related departments since 2004 and said he has noticed that even people who were responsible citizens have turned rogue. “I feel really bad when I see garbage in water bodies. I feel helpless both as an official and a citizen. I have seen people buy alcohol from the liquor shops, drink it and throw the glass bottles in wells or ponds,” the senior official told the reporter.
He said that the government takes a lot of steps to prevent this but no official can physically be present all day long to warn people against littering. The reporter expressed sympathy when he said that he doesn’t want the public to do anything extra but just have the conviction not to litter and prevent others from dumping waste. “Public is also corrupt, it’s not just the government,” said the official.
— Arpitha Rao, Chennai