Providing basic facilities top on priority: Geetu

Several houses still without toilets

Govind Sharma

JAMMU: Although there is extensive awareness campaign being done by the Central Government on Swachh Bharat Mission and making India Open Defecation Free, many households in Ward No 65 of Jammu Municipal Corporation are without toilets and many localities without lanes and drains.
The worst is the condition of those areas which were recently included in the Ward. People of these areas even lacked basic facilities like proper roads, lanes and drains and regular water and power supply.
Major parts of the Ward didn’t have cemented lanes and drains and a few areas where drains exist, they are choked. Sanjay Sharma of Patoli Brahmana area said that in some lanes of the locality, there are cemented drains but they remain choked as nobody bothered to clean them.
Another inhabitant of the area, Kali Dass said there about 25 Safai Karamcharis in the Ward but lanes are still filthy. Heaps of garbage along roads and corners of lanes present a bad picture but the inhabitants has no option except to throw garbage of their houses on road side as the area lacked adequate number of garbage bins.
“A seasonal nallah which passes through Shamshan Ghat, Patoli Brahmana and Gura Brahmana needed to be cemented as in every Monsoon season it plays havoc,” said Ranjeet Singh of Gurha Brahmana, adding due to flood in the nallah foundation of several houses has turned weak and may cause severe damage to the houses in future.
Sanjeev Gupta of Barnai said that the condition of electric cables is deplorable. At many places, these cables are hanging on road but despite many requests and representations to the concerned officers of the Power Development Department these were not replaced. He hoped that the new Corporator will pay heed to this grave issue, which if not addressed, can claim innocent lives.
Nisha Kumari of Gurha Brahmana said that there is no timetable of water supply by PHE Department in her locality. “Sometimes, we get water every day but many a times our taps remain dry for days together,” she added.
“Under Swachh Bharat Campaign of the Government of India crores of rupees have been spent but still many households in lower Barnai, Gurha, Machhlian, Nagbani and Chibachak do not have toilets as a result people living there still defecate in open,” said, Kishore, a private teacher living in Lower Barnai area.
Chetna Bhat of Dream City said that there is not even a single park in whole Ward. “People are bound to go for morning and evening walk on roads thereby putting their lives on risk as anytime any vehicle may hit and injure them,” she added.
Rishab Abrol, a youth living in Nagbani area lamented of not having a playground in the area. “I am preparing myself for recruitment in Army and any other belt force for last six months but due to lack of ground I have to run on road,” he added.
“There is no hospital and dispensary in whole ward although a land was selected for construction of dispensary at Patoli Brahmana some years back,” said Yograj (an ex-serviceman), who resides at Machhlian, adding for minor ailments people have to rush to Government Hospital, Sarwal.
Geetu Sharma, Corporator of the Ward, who won the election on BJP mandate, while talking to Excelsior said that her Ward is far behind in terms of development. In new areas, there are many ‘kutcha’ houses, while condition of roads and lanes is deplorable. The drains are not visible anywhere.
The Corporator said her first priority is to provide at least basic facilities in the area. “Masses are not aware due to which the benefits of many welfare schemes of Central as well as State Governments are not reaching to them. Widows and old age women are not getting pension,” she said, adding in the coming days, she will make every effort and take every step to ensure that these neglected people get benefits of Government schemes.
Geetu said that the process of cleaning/de-silting of existing drains in the Ward is already underway on war footing and in the coming days, new lanes and drains will be constructed in other areas. On the issue of park and a play ground in the area, she said matter will be taken up with the concerned departments soon.
Responding to the demand of a dispensary in the area, the BJP Corporator said as soon as an elected Government takes the reins of the State, she will take up the matter with utmost priority as there is about 4-5 kanal land available for the purpose at Patoli Brahmana.