Apoorva Joshi

PhD student - Information and Media; Environmental Science and Policy @Michigan State University

Independent journalist -

Environment, Science, International

Pune Municipal Corporation's Take on Timely Work

A week ago, I got home to this suffocating foul smell. After 5mins of absolute cluelessness, it struck me - the drainage. I went out into the balcony and looked outside. There is a lane exactly opposite my house. To the right of this lane, is a building being constructed. To the left, is another building which is being used my a courier company. At the gate of this courier company building is a drain cover that was lying in two pieces, leaving the drain open. 1cm from the drain, is a 6-7 feet long spread of garbage dumped by well, people. Now why the PMC has never bothered to reprimand or fine those who actually dump garbage there, beats me. I have personally been accused of dumping garbage there when the employees who come to clean the area every morning, know well that the people living in this house use the yellow dumper for their trash. Not the street.
   I have seen others come, dump trash, and walk away royally..all while the PMC people stand watching. Quietly. Where is their arrogance and voice then? Cat got it eh? Who knows.
   Anyway, this issue is entirely different. So yes,  5days ago the drain started overflowing and a LOT of absolute disgusting stuff came out from it..on to the road, which we walk and drive on. Unlucky us, we also live opposite it. Now it seems the only family being bothered by the nasal harassment, was our's. So 5 days ago, we complained to the PMC saying this was the situation and that the smell was becoming unbearable and the drain water would breed mosquitoes. Everyone with their wits about them knows that malaria, dengue and fever are spreading like wildfire in Mumbai and Pune this past month and stagnant water puddles just make matters worse. Which they did.
   After 4 phone calls to a coporator called Mr.Ashok Yanpure whose office, incidentally is in Lane no.5 Subhash Nagar, which is the lane just after our's, the PMC had still done nothing about it because apparently one of the days was Raksha Bandhan.. so the brothers got priority. Granted. They still had 4 other days.
   The situation is such that I cannot use "Hit" or "Baygon" in my house because we have two people with severe asthma and bronchitis living in this house, both of whom face serious breathing problems when these two repellents are used. Odomos is not a bright option because I refuse to smell like a repellent all day long.
  And why must citizens wait for breeding to begin, and malaria to be diagnosed in a family member for the PMC to take action? Are things really that bad that the Corporation can take such things so lightly even during the chain of illnesses including swine flu going around?

   This morning, I took some images finally and decided to email the article along with the images to a few local newspapers. I dont know whether any of them would be interested in helping solve such ground level problems, but Im hoping they will. I honestly don't think it takes more than some responsibility to do work that you get paid for, and especially when you have the audacity to talk to citizens in a tone of voice that even our Prime Minister doesnt use.

The brown specs on see on the water are mosquito larvae breeding on this water. God knows what else is in there.
Kasba-Vishrambaug Wada ward and Subhash Nagar electoral ward- lane no.4, subhash nagar.

High time someone paid heed to the growing problem of pathetic hygiene standards. Or do we wait till anyone else contracts Malaria?

- Apoorva Joshi.

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