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Public broom reply to Raj-era pond apathy

- Residents roll up their sleeves to clean up joggers’ paradise Mangles Tank

Sacrificing a late Sunday morning sleep, residents of Patna City took up brooms in their hands to clean the Mangles Tank, once considered a joggers’ paradise in the locality.

The popular hangout spot for the young and the old had lately turned into a garbage dump. Around 60 residents, including advocates, businessmen and senior citizens, assembled at 6am and carried out the tank periphery cleaning work till 10.30am.

Neglected by Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) and the district administration, the residents decided to clean the water tank all by themselves. Seeing them take up the broom, even passersby joined in their noble cause.

Located south of Patna City Chowk, the tank was named after A.C. Mangles, the then collector of Patna and the ex-officio chairman of Patna Municipality in 1876. He had initiated the digging up process then.

“There are so many good memories associated with the tank. It used to be a sacred place for us because even Chhath rituals were performed at the tank. However, the sheer negligence of PMC officials and the administration has left the tank at the mercy of God. It was the only place for morning walkers and joggers. In the past few days it had become impossible to walk around the tank because of excess garbage and the foul smell emanating from the tank,” said Rajesh Kumar, a Patna High Court advocate.

He added that they had reminded the municipal officials and the administration but “they hardly paid heed to their concern”. “So, we decided to clean the tank by ourselves and send across a message to the PMC and the administration. I hope this would be an eye-opener for them,” he added.

The Mangles Tank is frequently used by washermen and this led to a pile up of clothes, thermocol, polythene bags and other waste material. The Telegraph in its April 15 report “Soaked in tale of apathy, pond flunks test of time” had reported how the Raj-era pond is being converted into a huge garbage bin.

Businessman Sanjeev Yadav said: “We just cannot sit quietly and keep waiting for the authorities concerned to go for a clean-up act. The maintenance work would continue till the municipal officials intervene to give the pond a facelift.”


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