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Clean Thursday for stepchild colony

Call it express action after prolonged sloth.

Residents of Vidyapatinagar in Ranchi’s Ward No. 2 heaved a sigh of relief on Thursday when RMC workers, finally, launched a purge mission to redeem the residential colony from its four-month-long drainage distress.

Rajesh Sahu, an officer deputed by the RMC for the purpose, led the sewage cleaning exercise with a team of six sanitation workers from 7am. By 8.30am, Vidyapatinagar was pat dry without dirty, insect-infested water flooding homes. “The main drain along the colony lane, off Kanke Road, was choking on silt, plastic bags and domestic waste. We cleared them all,” Sahu said.

The Telegraph had on Wednesday morning published a report highlighting the plight of dozen-odd families who live in the colony and were being treated as stepchildren by the capital’s civic guardian. Also, the matter was brought to mayor Asha Lakra’s notice after a little boy fell on the flooded lane and hurt his leg on shards of glass on Wednesday evening.

Resident Baibhav Mishra said that it had become a norm for government agencies to act only after media intervention. “Our locality is one of the most neglected ones in terms of civic maintenance. We had had registered our grievances with RMC officials in the past, but in vain. However, we are glad that our problem has been solved for now after reports in a newspaper,” he said.

Added another resident Vinod Yadav: “Last week’s showers had made this place a stinking hell. But, the RMC woke up to its responsibilities only after a five-year-old boy sustained injuries.”

A source aware of civic issues, however, pointed out that Thursday’s drive was only symptomatic relief and a permanent solution to Vidyapatinagar’s drainage woes was needed. “This neighbourhood has been grappling with spilling sewer water for almost a decade now. The reason is that the existing drain has no proper outlet,” he said.

In the absence of an outlet, the RMC uses an acre of vacant private plot in the colony to release sewage water. Two weeks ago, the owner, Ledu Oraon, who also happens to be an RMC employee, had blocked the outlet, which resulted in 70ft of road connecting Vidyapatinagar with Gandhinagar to remain flooded. Oraon relented only after civic mandarins sought a month’s time to make alternative arrangements.

Offering hope, deputy mayor Sanjeev Vijayvargiya said the existing drainage system of the colony would be connected with the one constructed by CCL at Gandhinagar, around 300ft away. “The RMC has got a no-objection from CCL and funds have been released,” he added.

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