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RMC’s stepchild colony

An overflowing drain at Vidyapatinagar in Kanke, Ranchi, on Tuesday. Picture by Hardeep Singh

Downpour becomes distress as soon as it hits ground at Vidyapatinagar, a colony in Ranchi’s ward No. 2 where the RMC is prompt in collecting taxes but cares little when it comes to offering civic musts such as proper drainage.

It has been four months since a stretch of the residential lane off Kanke Road has been transformed into a sewer, complete with filth and creepy crawlies. Last week’s showers have only compounded woes for the dozen-odd house dotting the sickening stretch.

“In the last three months, at least a dozen reminders have been sent to the civic guardian and every time, RMC officials have promised to fix the drainage problem. Nothing has been done in reality. Insects, lizards and snakes are making their way into our homes along with dirty water,” said Arun Kumar, a contractor who lives in the heavily populated colony.

The root of all evils is the main outlet that has remained choked for months now and the RMC never initiated a cleanliness drive. A fortnight ago, when deputy mayor Sanjeev Vijayvargiya had come on a recce, residents had brought the matter to his notice, but in vain it seems.

“Sharp showers for 30 minutes is enough to cause waterlogging, but it is just one of the many problems. Mosquito menace is far more intimidating given how vector-borne diseases stalk the young and old alike. We have lost peace at night with creepy crawlies all over the house too,” said Dr Sangita, a gynaecologist who runs a clinic in Upper Bazaar.

Jharkhand government engineer Arun Kumar Singh, also a resident of Vidyapatinagar, said the colony was built on low-lying area and proper drainage was imperative to end people’s woes.

Some residents have already abandoned their homes for the monsoon. Retired government employee Suresh Singh and his wife are temporarily staying with their daughter in Ashoknagar, near Harmu, 8km away.

N.N. Thakur, a former central government employee, said the flooding problem had snowballed into an economic crisis for him.

“Two of my tenants have already left my newly constructed three-storey building. Who will come to live amid filth and sewer water? We are even ready to pay the RMC to clear the mess, but officials don’t seem to bother. This colony is now a hazard zone. It can trigger disease outbreak,” Thakur said.

Vijayvargiya admitted that he was aware of the situation, but expressed surprise that the matter had not been sorted out so far despite his directives to RMC officials. “Currently, I am out of town. I will find out why my instructions were not followed once I return.”

RMC’s chief executive officer Manoj Kumar, on his part, feigned ignorance. “Nobody ever brought the matter to my notice. However, now that I know, I will send a team within a couple of days to assess the problem,” he said.

Does your area also face a similar problem?

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