Residents of Nungambakkam want immediate solution to garbage issue in the areas. Complaints to authorities on the garbage problem have not brought any respite.

Failing to do its duty effectively, this conservancy agency has come under repeated attacks from residents and lambasted in the media. This story is an echo of the growing distrust in Ramky’s capability to keep the city clean.

Numgambakkam is a posh residential locality in Chennai. But, when it comes to civic issues, stories from this area are plentiful.

Ever since Ramky took charge over this area’s cleaning work (by the end of January), complaints have started pouring in about roads that have not been swept for months and dustbins which have been overflowing.

Corporation Zone 7 and 9 was merged last October, with Nungambakkam becoming a part of it. Before the private company took over, the Corporation was taking care of cleanliness in the area.

In January, the staff were moved to Anna Nagar and Arumbakkam area, and the charge of Nungambakkam, Mylapore, Triplicane and nearby areas was handed over to the lowest bidder _ Ramky. It took almost two months for the private player to begin work in the region.

Says G. Palani, secretary, Exnora International Corporation Zone 9, “Ramky’s work is shoddy. Roads are unswept and garbage collection lorries seldom clear the large dustbins. As a result they are always overflowing.”

Unbearable stench

Ramky is supposed to clear the bins twice a day. “With trucks not being regular, workers who collect garbage from houses dump them on the road near the overflowing bins. This raises an unbearable stench,” he adds.

The residents fear that if the problem continues they will be in for trouble when the Monsoon strikes the city.

“With an improper drainage system in place and stinking garbage lying around on streets problems are compounded,” feel residents.

The Chennai Corporation’s move to install blue corrugated iron sheet around bins has also come under severe criticism. The one at Haddows Road is kept open all the time. Half of the garbage overflows onto the road. Another one at Wallace Garden Road serves no purpose at all. The corrugated bin is empty and Ramky workers dump garbage collected from the locality outside it.

Assurance given

Complaints to authorities on the garbage problem have not brought any respite.

“Exnora had approached the Mayor and other leaders in the area about the issue. Though assured of a solution, we were not told what initiative would be taken and within what time they would be implemented,” says Mr. Palani.

With one person employed for every one-and-half-kilometre stretch, it is surprising that such complaints have been emanating from the area.

But, Ramky has its own cup of woes. Every time it has come under attack it has given lack of equipments and personnel as the reason behind its lack-lustre performance. Now, its staff has gone on a strike demanding hike in wages.

What is needed is immediate action on part of the Government to ensure the city is kept neat and clean.

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Civic issues & HealthMay 14, 2012