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Published: Monday January 28, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Monday April 22, 2013 MYT 3:08:35 PM

Poor management leaves unsightly mess after Thaipusam at Batu Caves

BATU Caves during and after Thaipusam is a mess, with rotting food and rubbish strewn everywhere, and drains clogged with waste.

Thousands of styrofoam and plastic cups and containers, some with remnants of food and drinks, were left behind by visitors in every nook and cranny at the Sri Subramaniar Temple grounds.

Being non-biodegradable and harmful to the environment.

Large bins placed there by the Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) were overflowing with rubbish.

Alvin Lau, 19, and Shaun Tiong, 18, who was part of the Thaipusam crowd, said it was sad to see the area being badly managed.

“The bins are filled to the brim and I have nowhere to throw my rubbish,’’ said Lau, while Tiong pointed out that the place was filthy and smelly.

“The festivities here is awesome but how can we soak in the culture when the place is so dirty,” said Lau.

Susan Sawyer, 50, from Brisbane, Australia said: “I saw people littering. I guess they think that others will clean up after them.

“Too much plastic is being used here. The stall operators should use more eco-friendly products,’’ added Sawyer.

Tourists Stephanie, Danielle and Martine, from Toronto, Canada, agreed that there was too much food and drinks wasted.

“This does not happen at festivals in Canada. Festivals in Toronto are usually sponsored by recycling companies,’’ said Stephanie.

A Malaysian Red Crescent Society member, who wished to be known as Ganesan, said the stink in the area was from rotting rubbish.

“You can tell by the smell that it has not been cleared for some time.

“This is not just a tourist spot but a religious site.

“The management should take better care of the place all year around and not just once in a blue moon,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, some people felt that the public visiting Batu Caves should also be more civic-conscious instead of dumping rubbish indiscriminately.

When contacted, Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Dhevasthanam committee member N. Sivakumar said the temple had employed over 40 people to clear the rubbish in Batu Caves and another team to sweep the place.

However, he said the public continued to litter even inside the temple.

He added that the NGOs providing free food and drinks also contributed to the problem.

“They give out food and drinks without thinking about where the containers should be discarded.

“We are doing all we can to maintain the cleanliness of the area.

“We hope the stall operators, NGOs and the public will co-operate with us towards this end,’’ said Sivakumar.

He said the problem could be made worse as there was no co-ordination between the groups over the food distribution system.

“Inside the temple, the restaurants use banana leaves to serve the people but the NGOs are using plastic and styrofoam,’’ said Sivakumar.

Tags / Keywords: Community, News, Environment, Religion, Thaipusam 2013


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