Sewer water spills on to Circular Road in Ranchi on Tuesday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
The Id fervour surely didn’t rub on to two important business hubs in the state capital on Tuesday.
While the entire city decked up in twinkling lights, colourful streamers and balloons, Daily Market at Main Road and Circular Road cut ugly pictures with overflowing sewage, piled-up garbage, open drains and an unbearable stench. People living in or nearby the twin busy zones were left fuming that the Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) did little to ensure cleanliness even on a big day like Id.
At Circular Road, the object of popular resentment was an open 2-feet wide drain near the State Bank of India (SBI) that had been giving a tough time to bank employees, office-goers, local shopkeepers and passers-by for a long time.
While the employees have created a makeshift pathway to the bank by placing cement slabs on the uncovered drain, the problem of dirty water spilling onto the road and being splashed by passing vehicles remains. Although a few labourers were seen covering the drain on Tuesday, the initiative has come too late.
Apart from SBI and HDFC Bank, several shops, Hotel City Palace, Apsara Hotel and Hotel Landmark are also located around the drain.
“Guests have to cross the overflowing drain to reach our hotel while the stagnant water has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes,” said an employee of Hotel City Palace.
A passer-by, Mohan Srivastava, complained that he had to wade through the dirty stretch whenever he visited the area. “One cannot cross this road without putting a handkerchief on the nose. We had been expecting the civic body to clean the drain or at least cover it before Id,” Srivastava added.
Contractor Pappu Kumar Singh, who had been given the drain project, said that they had started covering all open pipes and outlets on Circular Road six months ago, but the pace was slow.
“Today (Tuesday) being a holiday on account of Id, I employed a few labourers to cover the drain. On working days, it’s difficult to work here because of the presence of SBI. Hence, the delay,” he said.
Daily Market on Main Road was left choking on food waste, wrappers, plastic packets and other items left by vendors and revellers after shopping on “Chand Raat” — the night before Id. The entire area was an eyesore on Tuesday with local people and shopkeepers blaming the RMC.
“Kaal raat mein itna raunak tha, aaj dekhiye kitni gandgi hain (It was so bright and beautiful last night, but see, there is so much filth today),” said a shopkeeper Saket Kumar.
When contacted, RMC chief executive officer Manoj Kumar said: “As drain covering work is going on in the entire city, the one at Circular Road is overflowing. We are expecting everything to be in order in 10 days. As for piling up of garbage at Daily Market is concerned, our workers were on a holiday today. They will be back in action tomorrow (Wednesday).”