Garbage and filth choke a drain at Road No. 16 in Adityapur. Picture by Bhola Prasad
• Manoj Kumar Singh (25), an employee of an ancillary unit in Adityapur, was recently down with a stomach infection. Doctors said the infection might have been caused by houseflies
• Though rainy season is far off, 55-year-old Ganesh Bhagat, a former employee of Tata Steel, has started putting up a net at night to keep mosquitoes at bay
Health and hygiene have gone for a toss for the 2,500-odd residents of Adityapur-2, thanks to the clogged drains and overflowing sewers that seem to have become a part of their life of late.
According to the middle-class populace of Road Nos. 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 and 22, Adityapur Municipal Council is to be blamed for the mess. They claim that the civic body takes little care to ensure proper cleanliness in the neighbourhoods situated near Adityapur industrial area — the largest industrial hub of the state.
Result: cleaners hardly turn up for work causing the drains to go clogged, dirty and eventually turn into a breeding zone for vectors like mosquitoes.
“We cough up Rs 200 quarterly as holding tax to the municipality with the hope that it will clean the drains at least once a week. Unfortunately, the cleaners don’t turn up for months. Only after local residents go to the municipal office and create a ruckus that the officials wake up from their slumber and send cleaners,” said Ganesh Bhagat, who has taken voluntary retirement from Tata Steel.
“One does not expect mosquitoes around this time of the year, but it is impossible to sit in the open without using a mosquito repellent. And then, there is always this bad smell coming from the drains,” he added.
The residents are equally worried about the hazards posed by flies that have invaded almost all households.
“Makhhi bahut ho gaye hain. Khana khate samay thoda dhyan nahin rakhne se makhhi baith jata hain. Pet mein infection ho gaya tha, treatment karane ka baad aaj thoda thik lag raha hain. Aur padosiyo ka bhi hai problem hain (Number of houseflies has gone up. They sit on our meals if we are not attentive. I had to take medication for stomach infection and am feeling slightly better now. Several of my neighbours have also complained of stomach ailments),” said Singh, who stays on Road No. 16.
Purendra Narayan Singh, councillor of ward No. 29 under which Adityapur-2 falls, admitted to the menace, blaming the delay in execution of the JNNURM-sponsored drainage and sewerage project for Jamshedpur Urban Agglomeration and also lack of awareness amongst the residents.
“Adityapur is a part of Jamshedpur Urban Agglomeration and will be covered under the sewerage and drainage system. The area’s existing sewerage is more than five decades old and gets clogged. Residents are to be blamed as well as they throw solid waste like plastics. The Adityapur municipal council, on its part, should undertake cleaning activities more regularly,” Singh said.
Adityapur Municipal Council’s executive officer Sanjay Pandey promised prompt action. “The municipal workers had gone on a strike. They resumed work last Friday. We will clean the drains in the affected areas soon,” Pandey said.