Recently, a group of office-bearers of a residents’ welfare association near Tiruppalai approached their MLA and Councillors for dumper bins and drinking water tanks for their area which had around 500 houses, including independent villas and apartments, situated on nine streets.

To their surprise, the office-bearers received a swift response from their councillor who informed them that the Corporation authorities had sanctioned four dumper bins and three water tanks (1,000 litre capacity) for their area. On the promised date, the bins and tanks arrived.

But the trouble started from that point. When one of the office-bearers wanted the dumper bins to be placed at select points, the residents, one after the other, raised objections.

As the news spread, no resident wanted the bins near his or her house.

The issue could not be resolved even after two days and the councillor offered to intervene. But some of the residents, who were opposed to the political party to which the councillor belonged, were against his intervention.

Some of the office-bearers even threatened to quit their honorary posts.

“If the conservancy workers fail to turn up to remove the dumper bins even on a single day, living in my home will be hell. My tenant on the first floor has already threatened to vacate,” an irate resident told The Hindu.

R. Srinivasan, a retired professor living adjacent to the house, said, “I am a diabetic. My doctor has advised me to walk twice a day. At my age, I can’t go to a faraway park or ground, so I walk only inside the colony. The streets are relatively clean and free from garbage. Presently, a man collects garbage and other waste from every home in a tricycle. Though he is not regular, this arrangement is fine for me. We don’t need big bins,” he said.

Many women expressed their reservation over the installation of drinking water tanks as well.

The residents said it would lead to water stagnation in front of their houses, resulting in mosquito breeding and the spread of water-borne diseases.

Though the Oomachikulam police say the residents orally complained against the councillor for not removing the dumper bins, an office-bearer, Balasubramanian, said the issue had been finally resolved. How? “We asked the councillor to take back the dumper bins and drinking water tanks,” he said.

At a time when slogans such as “Keep your city clean; keep your city green” are seen everywhere, a closer look at a typical residential colony presents a different picture.

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