An unearthly practice is taking place where collected sludge from the road-side drains are left by the road-side until the next shower of rain re-carries the sludge back into the drain.
This is not a practice only confined to the bounds of Colombo! I´ve witnessed this type of activity by the Kandy Municipal workers assigned to roadway cleaning! Now I see the half-done – half-undone activity by the Western Province Municipal Workers.
This halfway-house attitude must be buried for better work etiquette to emerge for the betterment of our country. Faltering
activity will only keep our motherland an underdeveloped Zombie- Kingdom! I know that there is division of labour pertaining to roadside drain cleaning – (1) a couple of workers to gather and shove the sludge at the road’s edge, (2) another set of workers to heap up the dried sludge (earth) and load the stuff onto a vehicle (tractor- trailer). There is perhaps in coordination between the two sets of these workers. Hence, collection and removal do not take place coherently. Also, there is failure on the part of an ‘Overseer’, if there is such a category, to monitor coordinated activity.
Further, as an innate feature, we Lankans are good at giving reasons to ‘delay or not to do it at all’: “Soon after removal from the drain, sludge is too soggy to be loaded and transported and bought to remain until dry - Api passe enawa ”. But, before the workmen return, the rain lashes down (1) making a mess of the walkway of the people on foot and (2) carrying the sludge back into the drain blocking the drain, thereby causing water- logging of the area!
Are we a nation endowed with slip-shod work etiquette? If we are, how can we take this country forward? Here, the citizens, I see, had got into a habit of ‘putting it all on politicians’, but not fulfilling their own part as valuable responsible citizens of Sri Lanka. This is not productive, hence fruitless. Instead, our attitude ought to be tuned to ‘doing my part appropriately for the betterment of Sri Lanka’.
Please witness road cleaning-drain cleaning activity in your surrounds yourself. And if you see things pertaining to road cleaning–drain cleaning around where you live, happening the right way, please contest this write-up.
Dr. Susil W. Gunasekera,
(Retired University Academic)
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