VISAKHAPATNAM: Ramnagar which was once a neat and clean locality is now plagued by a host of civic issues. One of the oldest areas in the city, Ramnagar has seen a marked change over the years as people made the locality their home slowly.
From the open drains, strewn garbage, lack of clean drinking water to petrol thefts and mosquito menace, it has become a nightmare for the residents residing in Ramnagar. Although the area has schools, hospitals, department stores, petty shops and a vegetable market in its vicinity, lack of hygiene remains a matter of concern for everyone living in the area.
Plastic and domestic waste, coconut shells and rotten vegetables are all dumped either in the open drain or the culvert, leading to stagnation of water which further leads to mass breeding of mosquitoes. No wonder, children are frequently diagnosed with malaria and dengue.
The residents fear that the drinking water might be contaminated since the pipeline passes through the open drain and the borewell has not been functioning for the past few months. Purchasing drinking water is a huge burden, say the residents. Adding to their woes, petrol and petty thefts are reported every alternate day.
Since the entire area has only one dumper bin, the vegetable and coconut vendors tend to throw huge waste into the culvert and the open drain which is usually choked. Shanti, residing in a three-storey apartment near the stinking culvert, said that the residents got vexed of complaining to the municipal sanitary staff.
“The garbage in the dumper bin is cleared once in 10 days and sometimes it is left for days together. We had requested him to clear the clogged drains but there has never been a response. Due to the mosquitoes, my one year old son suffered from dengue when he was eight months old. Although we had got him vaccinated, the sanitary problems in the area remain to be solved.
As a precautionary measure, all the windows in the house are closed with a mesh and we make sure that water does not clog anywhere. If the problem persists, we will give a thought to shift to another area,” she says.
The residents mostly of middle class do not have a residents welfare association (RWA). Another resident stated that the area gets neat and tidy only when high profile people pass through the road. “The carcasses are also dumped in the single dumper bin and we have to put up with the stench for four-five days. Children have to use a mouth mask when they go to school,” added Sirvani, another resident.
Speaking to Express, she said that robbery was common here because the streetlights are not sufficient and the lane becomes very dark. “Even though we keep a vigil, it is not possible for us to stay awake the whole night and check who is stealing what.”
When contacted, the 19th ward assistant engineer of GVMC, Ramesh, said: “Within two days, the general maintenance of roads and internal roads, including clearance of drains, will be taken up. The internal roads which are in a bad condition will be laid with concrete.”