Garbage flanks a drain at Oraon Basti in Old Sitaramdera on Thursday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
The arrival of monsoon might have delighted most Jamshedpureans reeling under the sweltering heat, but four neighbourhoods located in the heart of the city are living in fear of outbreak of vector-borne diseases, thanks to improper cleaning of clogged drains.
A survey by The Telegraph at the densely populated localities of Old Sitaramdera, Refugee Colony in Golmuri, Nehru Colony in Kasidih and Gurdwara Basti in Sakchi revealed that the East Singhbhum administration’s order of cleaning drains by June 15 had been implemented in a half-hearted manner.
The localities are under Jamshedpur Notified Area Committee (JNAC), but the drains passing through them carry water from Tata Steel works. Hence, Jusco, the utility service provider that looks after Tata Steel areas, was entrusted with the cleaning job.
The drain passing through Oraon Basti, an urban slum in Old Sitaramdera with a population of around 3,500, has kicked up a stink with garbage dumped on both sides.
“The nullah was cleaned a few days back, but the workers left behind the garbage. The waste is emitting foul smell and one cannot rule out spread of vector-borne diseases soon. Also, the garbage can easily spill back and clog the drain again,” said Ravi Purty (42), a local resident.
The drain at Refugee Colony, which has over 5,000 people, also has garbage on both flanks. “Cleaning work was done in a hurry and heaps of refuse left alongside drains are raising the spectre of diseases,” said Satnam Gambhir, a local resident.
The nullah passing through Nehru Colony near Kasidih has not been cleaned at all.
“During rain, clogged drains overflow, flooding the road outside our houses. We are quite worried that we will have to wade through knee-deep water this time too,” said local businessman Rohit Kumar Jumani (21).
Gurdwara Basti in Sakchi also finds itself neglected. The drain in the neighbourhood is yet to be spruced up.
JNAC special officer Dipak Sahay passed the buck to Jusco. “We received a letter from the Tata Steel subsidiary that these drains had been cleaned. We will inspect them and lodge a complaint with Jusco for not doing the work properly,” said Sahay.
Jusco spokesperson Rajesh Rajan said most of the drains had been cleaned and the remaining would be covered within a week.
“Drains in the four localities in question will be cleaned thoroughly within a week,” he promised.