Picture of the Day - February 16

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The top photo shows the pillars of the bridge being built from Samne ghat to Ramnagar.  The second photo shows the pontoon bridge connecting Varanasi with Ramnagar.  The pontoon bridge must be removed before monsoon starts, giving it about an eight month usable timespan each year.  Once the cement bridge is finished, travel time during monsoon will be greatly reduced as people must use the grand trunk highway south of Samne ghat when the pontoon bridge is removed for monsoon.  Pictured third is the grand trunk highway bridge which connects Kolkatta to Kanpur.  Below the bridge is the new trash dump.  Pictured fourth is the trash dump next to the bridge.  Varanasi is doing well in cleaning up its streets.  In 2011 the city bought dozens of small dump trucks and large trash trucks.  Hundreds of modified bicycle carts are ridden daily by trash collectors in the cities ninety districts.  They wear nice green uniforms giving them a respectability previously denied trash collectors.  If only the city was "Green" in its method of trash disposal.  Unfortunately, the trash is just being moved to the other bank of the Ganges river via the grand trunk bridge road.  You know the proverb, "Out of sight out of mind."  Very few people know where their trash is going.  Not pictured is a new scavenger colony of families (children and women) who sort through the trash after it is dumped.  They live in tents next to the dump.  I was shocked when I saw the trash dump as I used to go there to watch the sunset over the river.  It was a great place to sit and think about life while looking at a beautiful sunset.  I can still go there, but I'll have to somehow forget the sound of rumbling trash trucks in the background as well as the site of the trash.  During monsoon, chemicals from the trash will be carried by rainwater back into the river thereby polluting it even further.  I'm sure that chemicals are being leached into the ground throughout the year without the help of rainwater.  For all the talk about cleaning up the Ganges, the city administration, by moving the dump here, seems to just gives it lip service.  I don't mean to show negative aspects of Varanasi on Varanasi Alive.  However, there is a whole "Alive" section of society in Varanasi which people would rather forget about.  I don't mean to depress you with photos that show negative aspects, but after seeing this, I was really depressed and I think you should know where your trash is being taken.