Taking a proactive stance against the escalating issues of open drinking and littering in Bavdhan, concerned citizens and the Bavdhan Citizens Forum joined hands to launch a distinctive initiative named “Bar Car-O-Bars.” The endeavor aims to not only raise awareness but also deliver a strong message about maintaining cleanliness and tidiness in the community’s surroundings.
Sukumar Patankar, a Bavdhan resident, shared his enthusiasm for participating in this initiative, highlighting the growing concern of public littering and its adverse impact on the neighborhood. “Taking part in this initiative is gratifying,” he said. “The rise in open drinking and the resulting littering have been affecting Bavdhan adversely. Through this campaign, we aspire to convey a significant message to the people of Pune: the importance of upholding cleanliness and safety in our localities every day.”
On August 27, from 7 am to 8 am, Bavdhan citizens came together for an impactful undertaking. More than a thousand discarded alcohol bottles were collected from various locations, a clear manifestation of the prevalent issues. These bottles were gathered and assembled at Van Udyan in Bavdhan, serving as a visual representation of the concerning open drinking, littering, and the subsequent unsafe environment.
Core Member of the Bavdhan Citizens Forum, C S Krishnan, elucidated the motive behind this endeavor, stating, “BCF designated this Sunday for collecting alcohol bottles strewn along roadsides by individuals consuming outside their homes. The improper disposal of beer and liquor bottles along footpaths poses risks of injury to pedestrians due to broken glass. Glass doesn’t degrade naturally, emphasizing the urgency of timely collection. We extend our appreciation to the young participants from Bavdhan and other Bavdhan Citizens Forum members who organized and participated in this campaign.”
The open drinking issue in Bavdhan has gained prominence over the past three years since the lockdown, often termed “Car-O-Bars.” These incidents have been consistently occurring in dimly lit areas, secluded corners, hillside locations, and in proximity to liquor stores and public spaces with inadequate security or surveillance. Notably, some liquor outlets even provide accompanying snacks and disposable glasses, further facilitating the creation of environments conducive to public alcohol consumption.
These concerns are not confined to nighttime hours; they persist even during daylight, inducing a sense of unease among the local community. Furthermore, Bavdhan has witnessed an upsurge in prostitution, infiltrating numerous corners of the locality.
Around two years ago, the Bavdhan Citizens Forum took an active role in identifying areas requiring improved illumination through a comprehensive survey. Their efforts culminated in the installation of lights at various locations following a submission to the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). Additionally, the forum compiled a list of sites necessitating police patrols, which was submitted to the local police station. Yet, a prevailing sense of frustration and powerlessness has emerged among citizens due to the lack of response from authorities regarding these ongoing issues. A dearth of patrol personnel has been identified as a major contributor to the challenges’ persistence.
Through their “Chal Saaf Kar Bavdhan” (Let’s Clean Up Bavdhan) initiative, the BCF orchestrated a distinctive protest on August 27, 2023, targeting the pervasive Car-O-Bars. The gathering of around 100 volunteers at various locations culminated in the collection of discarded liquor bottles strewn across the roads. These bottles were then consolidated into a symbolic heap outside Van Udyan (Forest Park) with a sign bearing the message “Bavdhan’s Roadside Treasure.” The intent of this demonstration is to bring the issue to the forefront and advocate for an increased police presence within the local police chowki (station), fostering regular patrols and deterring potential culprits.
Amidst significant challenges, the united voice of concerned citizens remains steadfast in their pursuit to restore safety and harmony to Bavdhan’s streets. The rallying cry for action resonates throughout the community, urging prompt attention from authorities and the implementation of sustainable measures for lasting transformation.