Ditching the nation

Caterpillar

Caterpillar

Patriotism today requires us to go with the flow, to wave flags, sing along or cheer various patriotic jingles. No questions ever.  So it is no surprise, that we have articles like the one from “The Hindu” newspaper –

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/choked-drainage-troubles-kamala-mill-colony-residents/article6412068.ece

Ditch

Ditch

The Hindu Coimbatore 13/09/2014. Sewage stagnates at Kamala Mill Colony in Coimbatore, on Saturday. Photo: K.Ananthan
Stagnant sewage overflows onto lanes and homes, they say

For the residents of 70-odd houses in Kamala Mill Colony in Ward 64 in Singanallur, it has turned out to be a very unpleasant experience. The reason: the open drainage that runs in the area has stagnated after the land south of the locality changed hands.

The new buyer had dumped debris preventing the sewage from flowing south to join the drainage that runs along Kamarajar Road, north to south. The stagnant sewage overflows onto the lanes and during rain the dirty water also enters homes.

“We have been suffering for the past two years,” said S. Sivalingam, a resident.

When the sewage overflowed, the residents informed the councillor, the Coimbatore Corporation officials and after failing to get a solution, engaged private lorries to drain out the sewage. “That is the only solution that is available but the residents cannot keep on doing it,” he added.

Abetting the flow of sewage is the negligible difference in the road level and the sewerage surface.

Even as the residents suffered, a few were lucky. They were the tenants who vacated the houses to move to more hygienic localities in the area, said G.R. Unnikrishnan, another resident.

During the recent rain, the residents suffered all the more as sewage from Kamarajar Road entered the area but could not flow out of the area as the drains were choked on the southern side. The rainwater carrying sewage entered the houses, forcing the residents out.

Before the next rain, the residents want the Coimbatore Corporation to provide a permanent solution.

The Coimbatore Corporation officials said that they would look into the issue. Councillor Sedhuvaraj also promised action.

Looking at the picture of the sewage drain, it looks like one of the better ones, not that mucky. If you read the article carefully, you’ll see that this is a highly functional ditch, with a thriving ecosystem.

  • First thing is that the ditch is at road level, so if it was properly done, then lot more digging and concrete would be involved. There are places where ditches are more than 6 feet deep, any shallower, then no sewage flows from place A to place B.
  • Second, one can easily dump debris (in this case, construction debris) to enhance the experience of the residents. Dumping debris provides employment, the workers managed by the government, will now take this debris, and dump it in another place. Basically reuse the same material, to provide the same service i.e. make the sewage flow onto the roads and houses.
  • Third, heavy duty technology can now be brought in, where the visible workers are few, but there are many working in shacks, creating the technology, manufacturing the parts, and assembling them for use in this scenario. An advantage with this technology is you can keep on doing it, and at the same time, never run out of sewage to be cleared.
  • Fourth nature can work with man, rains can bring in the mucky water right into your dream house, and spill over onto the roads.
  • Fifth, there is the government ecosystem, where you go and plead in, so that a “solution” can be found where this locality can rightfully exchange sewage with another locality, taking this process to a higher level.
  • Sixth, other supporting ecosystem, that fogs the ditches to control mosquitoes, or provides bleach to control smell, etc can thrive.

Seventh, research can be done, powerful bacteria harvested from the muck, and cultured for various purposes, and all this experience can be faithfully applied to the new smart shitties, oops, cities, that will soon pop all over this country. And finally the media can play its glorious role, calling these sewage ditches as storm drains, to keep the big builders happy, and solving the problem, at least within their domain.

A person has three locations – here (his house), there (where trash goes), and elsewhere (the mountains, and fertile fields with clean water, and rich soil, for growing food). Our smart shitties model depends on this simple paradigm. A house today, is built, so that not an inch of space remains, between it and the neighboring houses. All earth is covered in concrete. The cleanerers believe that earth, and plants are dirty, not worth the nuisance. And there are the banks, that want to sell more of their loans, and they encourage bigger houses, which might turn out to be an investment. In the end, these houses get occupied by one or two people, and is mostly empty rooms. Or the people are not healthy enough to live alone, so the house remains vacant,  these people stay in assisted living facilities, or with their children.

The houses with soak pits, for household grey water, can avoid the modern smart city paradigm. Yes, you need to plant around the soak pits, so that the plants and trees draw the water, and also purify it. But the modern cleanerers want to keep the soak pits clear of vegetation, making it clog, and fill up.

Now with more population, there is no “there” to send the trash to. Atleast with gray water, soak pits with plants can handle all the waste, without affecting the neighbhors. But it depends of people building smaller houses, and leaving bare earth for trees and plants. Plants and life provide exponential solutions for exponential problems, but then what will the workers do, without the employment.

A great deal of attention is now on “open defecation”. Now if anyone said, that shitting out in the open, will stunt growth, then people wouldn’t even regard that person as good enough to be locked in an insane asylum. People wouldn’t even to care to laugh at what that person said, because it would be beyond absurd. But study after study is being made, at the highest levels, that show “correlation” between open defecation and stunted growth. Except, that these are in urban slums, where there are “n” other factors that cause stress, and stunted growth in people. One wonderful way of sharing the joys of “closed defecation” is with the sewage ditches mentioned earlier. And then we have these septic tank lorries (“honey suckers”), that apparently dump the sewage in farms, where our food is supposed to come from. Some have even made this into a thriving business. A banana farm (of all things?) near Bangalore using sewage, dumped right into it, without further composting.
(http://www.new-ag.info/en/focus/focusItem.php?a=2728).

Modern humans eat regulated, and licensed “food”, that a hundred years back wouldn’t have been recognized as food, much less as toilet cleaners. And the waste that comes out is more putrid and pathogenic. In the suburbs of the city, where there is reasonably undisturbed soil life, shit from healthy individuals on plant based diet, disappears in less than 24 hours. People say, there is no “scientific” difference between dung from phoren  cows (Holstein and Jersey breeds) ,the mixed breeds that originate from these western breeds and our indigenous breeds. But one look at the dung will tell you it is not true, scientific data notwithstanding. Most scientific data is propaganda, disguised as science. And we sacrificed, our Indian stock, that served multiple purposes, including fertility restoration of soils, and rich, non-allergenic A2 milk.

How far can we carry this “closed defecation”? Are cats and dogs next, to be forced, into living in closed shacks, and with concrete toilets for them. Indian dogs are smart. If you watch them shit, they vigorously paw the soil, and cover the shit, with a layer of soil. Among other purposes, the most important reason for that, is to get the shit to degrade fast, by adding soil bacteria and fungi. Yes a simple solution, that will beat the high-tech research by Bill Gates’ minions.
But that would be against the cleanerer culture that engages workers in an endless treadmill of work and more work for slave wages.

Toilets are needed in certain situations, but why break things, so that toilets look like the grand solution to fix all our ills. Why force it on unwilling people, who find it repulsive to have a toilet next to the kitchen? Why ignore the long term problems caused by all the “closed defecation”? Or ignore the immediate problem for those who have to handle the sewage?

Human perception is limited, both on an individual level, and collective level. Can we depend on our leaders? Who are those leaders? People who lived in closed shacks, but surrounded by fawning scumbags, ready to flatter the “leader” at every opportunity. All we see is a drooling individual, with security and media props, jazzed by the hype of the various special interests, and their lobbyists. We vote, some process then counts the vote, and in the end, emerges a “leader” who is surrounded by well-heeled individuals and corporates. Let the lumpen folk, who provided the vote, and “legitimacy” keep far away.

Since human perception is limited,  cultures left space for nature. In our case we did not take medicinal plants from cultivated land, much less cultivate them. We left plants and animals alone, in sacred groves, even when population pressures were much less. It taught us, the limitations of discriminatory intelligence, or reductionistic pseudo-science. What miracle has modern science brought us, when compared to say Siddha or Ayurveda? That would require another blog post, a perception that distinguishes (the modern way) clever tricks, breaking things and fixing them with all show and bluster, and an innate intelligence that comes from being a microcosm that looks and acts  like the macrocosm, is inspired by and resonates with it.

Yes, we have taken Ayurvedic tonics, who doesn’t remember Dabur’s Chyawanprash. With no effect, we probably came out a little less healthy. There was this company, one of the more popular ones, selling organic teas in USA. The company is in India, but managed, or controlled by some phoren folks. Has a nice fancy web site, with a detailed description of the benefits of tulsi (sacred basil), one of their products. The product was nicely packaged, but the tea, turned out to be like paddy husk. Anyone, who had plucked a tulsi leaf in the dry season, and  eaten it, will know. The tea was absolutely tasteless, but the website mentioned the various nutrients, the minerals, and the organic cultivation. Back in India, the organic stores, carried other products by the same company, like chyawanprash, and ghee. This chyawanprash had 79% jaggery (sugar) plus honey. Later versions, had a few percentage points less sugar, but it was still above 70%. When you eat the gluey dark muck, the only taste (apart from sweetness) you notice is that of “long pepper” (Piper longum), which is stronger than black pepper. The whole thing was processed into a sugary muck. Could this preparation really bring about the wondrous rejuvenation, and resistance to illness as promised ?. So what is Ayurveda and Siddha?

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