A young woman who lives in Madurdaha, under ward 108 of the CMC, tells Metro how her family has struggled to cope with the challenges of staying in the neighbourhood.
Living in Madurdaha is no cakewalk and it has nothing to do with moving from a neighbourhood in the heart of south Calcutta with all you could wish for at your doorstep, and where I lived for over three decades. The nearest grocery shop here is a good 15-minute walk away but that isn’t the problem.
The horror of living in Madurdaha has to do with the absence of the most basic of amenities — from water to roads — and this is four years after the construction of our house and three years since my parents moved in.
Madurdaha is developing at breakneck speed with new buildings coming up almost every day but we are yet to get proper roads, water supply lines and a sewerage system.
A road that leads to a row of apartment complexes behind our house is under water for eight out of 12 months. The other one is a temporary road with potholes the size of a car. No taxi wants to enter the lane. The lack of proper illumination is a bigger problem. The roads are deserted after dusk with most of the flats either under construction or unoccupied. It makes walking pretty unsafe, especially for a woman.
And all this is just two lanes away from the busy Bypass. I shudder to think what people who are living further down face every day.
Just before the last municipal elections, we knocked on the door of the local councillor, who got one of the roads paved. But it was back to being a mud-and-brick mess after one monsoon and the ongoing constructions with loaded lorries using the smaller roads to avoid the police on the Bypass don’t help. Add to the bad roads the blind turns leading to the main road into Madurdaha and you have an accident waiting to happen.
We have to buy drinking water since most purifiers don’t reduce the heavy presence of iron in water piped out through deep tubewells. There is no place for garbage disposal either and most of the houses just dump their waste on the nearest empty plot. The stagnant water in most of the vacant plots not only stink but is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
We did not move to Madurdaha expecting a posh locality but what we did expect, because the municipal corporation gave us building permits and even completion certificates, are a few basic amenities.