SAMBALPUR: Contrary to Sambalpur Municipal Corporation’s claim that it has been taking a slew of measures for development of the city, residents of Kumbharpara have been deprived of basic facilities.
Though the colony, home to nearly 200 households, is located at the centre of the city, its inhabitants continue to struggle for basic amenities. Though pipelines have been laid, water supply is yet to be provided to their houses. All households, majority of them being Muslim and Bengali families, depend on one hand pump located at the entrance to the lane. During summer, a water tanker is parked near the main road, 200 metres away from the colony, and the residents fetch a bucket or two of water for the entire day.
Similarly, majority of the houses are devoid of toilet facilities. Though a spot was identified for community toilet, the construction work is yet to begin. People continue to go to a pond embankment, nearly two km away, for attending nature’s call.
As the TNIE team visited the locality to interact with people for creating awareness on voting, the residents gathered with their complaints. Gautam Ghosh, a resident of Kumbharpara, took the team through the lanes to show the plight of the inhabitants. The drain ends after only a few feet after entering the locality.
Ghosh said during rainy season, water enters the houses in the absence of proper drainage. The sanitation of the area is pathetic. While the locality has a small dustbin for all households, Ghosh’s wife said the municipal sweepers come only once a week to collect garbage.
An elderly Muslim woman said she had applied for a pucca house under the Government scheme more than a year ago. The then collector had visited the locality only once last year. Even though the parties are going door-to-door to campaign for the elections, no party has visited their locality yet. Some BJP workers had come a few days ago to put up their party flags around the area. BJD candidate Raseswari Panigrahi had also come to nearby localities this week but did not visit their area, locals said.
They demanded that community toilet be set up immediately in their locality and threatened to boycott the poll over the issue.