Bagbera residents on a cleanliness campaign in their area on Wednesday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
Frustrated over inaction by local civic bodies and the district administration, residents of Birsanagar and Bagbera two densely populated Jamshedpur suburbs have opted for voluntary service and contributions to keep sanitation woes at bay.
Residents of Birsanagar, located on the eastern fringes of the city with a population of nearly 1.5 lakh, have gathered under the banner of Johar Jharkhand with representatives from each of the 14 zones covering an area of 1400 acres.
In Bagbera, situated near Tatanagar Station with a population of close to 1.4 lakh covering areas of Bagbera, Ghaghidih, Kitadih, Karandih and few areas of Parsudih, the residents have started cleanliness campaigns under the aegis of Bagbera Mahanagar Vikash Samity (BMVS).
The Birsanagar area comes under the purview of Jamshedpur Notified Area Committee (JNAC) while Bagbera area is the responsibility of panchayats with civic amenities looked after by the district administration.
Both the areas witnessed an outbreak of chikungunya and viral diseases last year and water-borne diseases are a regular feature.
Satya Prakash, secretary of Johar Jharkhand said they have contributed from their own pockets to arrange for disinfectants and also for sprinkling bleaching powder as JNAC has failed to carry out its duties.
We have arranged for high quality bleaching powder from the community services wing of Tata Motors for distribution in the area. So far we have distributed seven packets in different zones of Birsanagar. We are focusing in those areas from where complaints come about water accumulation and muck heaps lying around, said Prakash.
They have around 100 members with representatives in different parts of the urban slum who keep a vigil in their area and inform about garbage lying in the areas and also about water accumulation to the organisation officials.
JNAC special officer R.N. Dwivedi said despite manpower shortage, they were trying their best to cover different areas by sprinkling bleaching powder.
The Bagbera Mahanagar Vikash Samity (BMVS) also undertakes cleaning of clogged drains and has employed three sweepers.
BMVS president Subodh Kumar Jha said each of their members (31 in all) contribute Rs 200 per month from their own pocket for such activities.
Apart from paying sweepers, we also use the fund for purchasing bleaching powder. Each packet costs around Rs 500 and so far we have purchased eight packets, said Jha.
He blamed the elected panchayat officials for not utilising disaster management funds for the purpose.
Each of the mukhiyas have got Rs 2 lakh for disaster management, but no one has used the money so far. We have written several times to the district administration but to no avail. Finally we decided to start the sanitation campaign on our own, added Jha.