Canalside stalls dumping everything from chicken feathers to thermocol plates in the water, garbage-filled vacant plots, cars parked blocking roads and unlit streetlights were some of the problems Salt Lake AL Block residents shared with Krishna Chakraborty, the local co-ordinator, at a face-to-face interaction at their community hall on Sunday.
Several residents who live along the banks of the Kestopur canal requested Chakraborty to “do something” about roadside stalls and shanties from where garbage is dumped regularly into the water. “The result is for everyone to see as all the roads of the block are getting flooded during heavy showers,” said Sabyasachi Bandyopadhyay, a doctor who stays in AL Block.
On Wednesday, Bandyopadhyay said that the roads and lanes in their block had got flooded during the showers that lashed the city from Sunday, lasting till Tuesday morning. “Despite us telling her that it is becoming a problem, no concrete steps have been taken to address the issues,” he said.
While this concern was voiced by most of the 30-odd residents who took part in the meet, others pointed out that many households had multiple cars, most of which were parked on the road. “To add to this issue, many outsiders also park their vehicles on the roads of the block and make their way across the footbridges to head to Kestopur,” said Alokesh Bhattacharya, a retired engineer who stays in the block.
Residents also said people were dumping garbage on empty blocks and that sewerage lines must be overhauled.
Chakraborty, on the other hand, said that due to an ongoing court case, property tax rates were quite low and many residents, particularly those staying in Rajarhat and Gopalpur, were not even paying taxes. “We are not earning anything compared to other civic bodies,” she said.
She also asked the residents to pitch in and create awareness among those staying in the block not to dump garbage on the plots.
With regards to sewerage, Chakraborty said that they had to manually clean the gully pits as they were choked with construction materials. “We have found tyres, used sanitaryware and even coconut shells from inside,” she said.
She also asked the residents to maintain Covid-19 protocol during Durga Puja celebrations.