Need to bridge the gap between growth, infrastructure creation

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 06 Oct 2018 12:48:43

 


Stray animals having a feast at the garbage and filth at Juni Mangalwari Market.

 

Staff Reporter,

Prabhag-22

Localities

Quetta Colony, NMC Lakadganj Zone Office, Patidar Bhavan, Adarsh Nagar, Chinteshwar Mandir, Balaji Mandir Square, Juni Mangalwari, Mattipura, Sudarshan Colony, Lakdi Pul, Dnyaneshwar Mandir, Nawabpura, Aychit Mandir, Sangh Building, old Bagadganj, Gangabai ghat, Small Factory area, Bapurao Galli, Itwara High School, Nikalas Mandir, Fawwara Chowk, Kumbharpura, Masurkar Chowk, Azamshah Chowk, Darodkar Chowk.

 

It is one of the biggest Prabhags of Nagpur city. There are several issues in Prabhag-22. Even if one focusses the attention on only state of sanitation and hygiene, many of the issues ultimately link to others. What comes out most strikingly is that the area is undergoing changes due to growth, but there remains a gap between the pace of growth and that of creation of supporting infrastructure.

Most of the prominent parts of the old city -- Itwari, Mahal, Juni Mangalwari -- are divided in a complicated manner among three-four Prabhags. Prabhag-22, like other adjacent prabhags, represents the ‘old world charm’. But, a visit leaves one wondering if the civic authorities and various corporators in the past several years really paid heed towards creating infrastructure that would be adequate to address grievances of the people regarding maintenance of cleanliness and sanitation.

Dust, dirt, garbage, open nullahs, congestion on roads affecting movement of garbage collection vehicles come out as common observations in any part of the Prabhag. This particular part has the oldest markets of the city, characterised by density of buildings, narrow lanes and by-lanes, and corners where people still prefer to dump garbage. Juni Mangalwari and Nikalas Mandir Road are the areas where even the open plots have been converted into dumping grounds.

Ashish Pandhare, one of the residents, lamented that no efforts had been taken to develop these areas. Citizens blame local leaders and corporators for neglecting the issues pertaining to cleanliness in the area. Until five years ago, thanks to bad roads and drainage system, dirty water spilled over on to roads. In the last one-and-a-half years, road laying work has been done in some parts and this has improved situation a bit. Still, uncleared garbage is a common sight in many areas, he added.

If one thought that only private open plots have been converted into dumping grounds, one may be wrong. Even playgrounds are being used as dumping yards. No one has bothered to keep playgrounds clean so that children could play without risk of catching up infections. And, no outsider is spoiling these open spaces. The local residents dump trash there. Due to irregular sweeping of roads, garbage is seen piling up. Often, residents burn garbage in internal lanes near Nikalas Mandir Road, and adjoining areas.

Encroachment also worsens the problem. For, garbage piles grow with encroachments of temporary stalls in market areas. Movable stalls, especially eating joints, and road-side vendors throw the garbage ‘at the spot’. Residents have been complaining against this, but to no avail.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) corporators Manoj Chaple, Vandana Yangantwar, Shraddha Pathak, and Rajesh Ghodpage represent this Prabhag. Of them, Chaple is currently Chairman of Health Committee of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC). Obviously, people expect more from him.

Asked about overall situation relating to cleanliness in the Prabhag, Chaple said that he needed some time to resolve the matter. “Most of the area in our Prabhag is fast undergoing transformation. As population in the area grows, more garbage gets generated. This calls for not only new sewer lines but also frequent cleaning of existing ones. Also, with new roads getting laid, more sweepers are needed to keep them clean. All this will take some more time,” he said.

Shraddha Pathak said that the corporators were trying their level best to maintain cleanliness in the Prabhag. According to her, she personally inspects the area of her Prabhag every week and interacts with residents to know their problems. She added, “We try to educate people and make efforts to maintain cleanliness. If we find garbage and get complaint from the residents, we immediately take action and get the place cleaned.”

Another corporator Vandana Yangatwar claimed that the corporators had constituted four teams that inspected the Prabhag on a regular basis. “We have also divided each of the teams in booth-level sub-teams. One team manages 14 booths to know the problems faced by people. This helps us redress grievances of the people regarding cleanliness swiftly,” she told ‘The Hitavada’.

Still, problems do exist. Internal lanes in Juni Mangalwari areas are a neglected lot. Residents complained that the area did not have stormwater drains. As a result, during monsoon waterlogging has become a common feature. Obviously, when there is waterlogging in internal lanes, it does not get cleared easily in monsoon season. This creates risk of people catching up vector-borne diseases.

In overall assessment, the Prabhag is undergoing a transformation. It is precisely for this reason that the old drainage system, garbage collection points are proving to be inadequate to cater to the growing demand. Hence, one comes to conclusion that the real challenge here is in bridging the gap between growth and infrastructure creation, at matching pace.