VISAKHAPATNAM: The on-going strike by the GVMC employees and workers entered the fourth day, leaving heaps of garbage strewn across the city lanes. Adding to it, heavy downpour experienced in few areas of the city is now threatening to trigger an outbreak of seasonal diseases.
With the GVMC officials still in negotiations with the staff unions, the city appears to has no escape from the present scenario.
All the city dumpsters are overflowing, forcing locals to dispose household garbage in nearby isolated yards. With heavy rain lashing the city Monday, garbage was seen floating in blocked drainages.
Renowned doctor and principal of Andhra Medical College, SV Kumar said that the situation definitely poses a serious threat against which people should start taking precautionary measures. He said that with the drains being clogged, there would be a rise in mosquitoes leading to dengue, malaria as well as other water-borne diseases like cholera and gastroenteritis.
“Consuming boiled water is the best remedy, apart from using mosquito repellant. Children should be given more care,” Kumar added.
Around 2,800 metric tonnes of garbage is learnt to be on the city roads. Apart from rythu bazars, restaurants, slaughterhouses, colonies, residential areas are all affected by the stench from garbage piled on the roads. In the overall garbage generated, around 1 to 1.5 tonnes of waste is being generated by the slaughterhouses, posing threat of diseases.
Some of the leaders in the city and a few organisations are taking up garbage clearing initiatives to rectify the situation a little. Visakhapatnam MLA Vasupalli Ganesh Kumar took part in a cleaning programme held in his area. Recently, GVMC Commissioner J Pravin Kumar had addressed the managements of hotels, restaurants and meat shops not to dump waste on their premises. However reacting on the issue, GVMC chief veterinary officer S Jayaram said, “Chicken shop owners mostly give away the remains to fish ponds as feed, while most of the meat shops don’t have much remains as most of the parts are utilised. Therefore, very less percent reach the bins.”
GVMC Mulls Alternative Steps
The GVMC authorities have been planning to take alternative measures for clearing garbage in the city. With the failure of discussions between officials and various staff unions, GVMC commissioner J Pravin Kumar is ascertaining the needs, the number of daily wagers and vehicles required for alternative measures, apart from seeking help from major companies and associations. Pravin Kumar, in a meeting with officials of the corporation has estimated that around 320 daily wage labourers are required in place of the striking sanitary staff. He felt that they needed six tractors, 31 dumpster drivers and five tippers. He also said that if needed, the civic authorities would make use of other vehicles. According to him, all the aids would be provided to the workers on the basis of zones. Pravin also said that they would seek help and suggestions from residential welfare associations, contractors association CREDAI, hotels association, bulk water supply association besides NTPC, Vizag Port Trust, Gangavaram port and other companies. He also said that the measures would prevent seasonal diseases.