VISAKHAPATNAM: One man’s meat is another man’s poison goes the adage. This is what exactly the denizens of Velampeta experience whenever it rains.
At a time when the citizens are welcoming the pre-monsoon showers that have been lashing the city for the past two days for the wet spells have brought the much-needed respite from the scorching heat, the citizens of Velampeta are counting anxious moments.
On Friday evening, even as the rest of the city breathed a sigh relief, the evening downpour gave a nightmare to Velampeta residents. In no time after it started raining, the residents were seen guarding their houses as the drain water overflowed. They were scared that the water may enter their houses.
Though the water receded after a few hours, it has brought the poor preparedness of the city for monsoon to the fore. When it rains, it has become a routine affair for the locals of Velmapeta and Poorna Market area to shift their belongings to the attics. “The drains are clogged and their clearance is not consistent,” alleges a group of people in Velampeta.
M Janakamma, (40), a resident of a colony in Velampeta, says that water entering to their houses is a common affair every monsoon. As small drains passes through narrow bylanes dotted with houses, a short spell of rain results in swelling of the drains.“Drain water almost came till our houses. But, we know that difficult days are ahead as monsoon is coming,” she says .
But, once it rains, the citizens stay alert. “You will never know when water will enter into your house. Using sticks, we keep on clearing the debris in the drain. If it is not enough and water enters our houses, we start shifting the belongings to attics,” says another local Narayana Rao.
“Drain water comes onto the road and we dare not go on foot. Some bikes even skid,” says N Raju, a bike mechanic who has his shop at BSNL office junction in Velampeta.
Most of the residents of the area are either daily wagers or workers in private companies. They say that now and then the civic body clears the drains. Even then, it is the imprudent dumping of garbage into drain that makes the condition worse, admits Rao.
But the locals blame it on the street vendors and a number of small shops in the vicinity.
“They dump waste including plastic cups and solid waste, into the drains which get clogged and water swells on to the road when it rains. Further, many drains have been encroached,” says A Sridhar, a resident of Poorna Market area.
A lot of waste from Poorna Market is being dumped into drains, leading to water stagnation, he says. In some areas the locals complain about open drains. “During night and when it rains, we fear the open drains as you can not differentiate the roads from drains. Customers use ramps to reach shops. An inadvertent step could lead to tragedy,” said Anand Kumar, another resident.
Imprudent garbage dumping clogs drains Zonal commissioner-I I I
K Chakradhar said that he had inspected the area. “We clear the drains and citizens keep dumping garbage into them. It is a continuous process here. Many throw waste, including plastic, into the drains, resulting in water stagnation. Using proclainers, we clear them as it can’t be done manually. We are keeping constant check whenever it rains and clear the drains,” he added.