Sai Nagar residents take nullah clean-up into their own hands

Waste strewn on street makes it difficult to walk without holding breath so they clean the area every Sunday sans PMC’s help
Walking past an open nullah overflowing with gar bage has become a daily hurdle for around 5,000 odd residents of Sai Nagar area in Hingne Khurd on Sinhagad Road. Despite repeated complaints to clean up the nullah and the adjoining road for the past six months, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) authorities have paid no heed. It is under these circumstances that the residents of several housing societies in the area decided to take matters in their hands by finding a permanent solution to the long-pending issue.In the last one month, the residents formed a common group and every Sunday morning, they clean up the nullah and the adjoining road on their own. The citizens are no longer dependent on the civic authorities to address their woes. Abhay Lokhande, a resident of Sudatta Sankul Society in Hingne, shared, “There are around 20 housing societies, 50 bungalows and more than 300 individual houses in Sai Nagar.The one-kilometre nullah starts from the main road in Damodar Nagar and reaches Sai Nagar premises. In the past 10 years, the entire locality developed into residential societies and homes and therefore this is the only route we take for daily commute. Due to lack of garbage containers in the area, the residents have no other option but to dump waste in the open nullah. After several months of following up with the authorities, we decided to come together and clean up the nullah on our own. We later plan to create awareness among residents to not throw garbage in the nullah henceforth.“

The citizens here have formed a WhatsApp group, Mission Sainagar Clean, to stay connected with each other about the daily activities in the locality.

Ajay Nikam of Avinash Vihar So ciety, another resident, explained, “Earlier, the PMC wouldn’t sent vehicles to collect our garbage so we had no option but to dump it into the nullah. After repeated complaints in the past few months, the civic body started sending the garbage trucks twice a day. However, there is an urgent need to place two garbage containers considering the increasing number of residents living here. We have been facing several health hazards due to the open dumping of waste.“

As there are no barricades around the nullah, several accidents have been reported in the area. In one such incident, an auto rickshaw driver had fallen inside the nullah and sustained injuries. Furthermore, several twowheeler riders, too, have injured themselves by falling into the nullah during late night hours.

Rakesh Thakar, another resident who created the WhatsApp group, lamented, “On the day of cleanliness drive, PMC sent their garbage collection vehicles and some workers even joined us to sweep the area. But, as honest taxpayers, we deserve to be heard by the civic body. After making several calls, the PMC sends workers to clean the road once every 15 days. Moreover, there are no streetlights in certain areas and others are defunct, resulting in security risks for senior citizens, children and women. So far, we have written to the authorities as well as made two online complaints. Our simple demand is to permanently install a drainage pipeline in place of the nullah, place two garbage containers and according to the sanctioned development plan (DP), widen the road to 12 metres.“

When contacted, Ravi Pawar, PMC’s assistant municipal commissioner and Tilak Road ward officer, told Mirror, “I am aware about the problems bothering the residents and we are working at installing a permanent drainage pipeline instead of the nullah. Soon, tenders would be finalised and the work will begin. Also, I will place garbage containers in the area and repair the streetlights.“

Source : Mirror