Staff Reporter

Slum-dwellers pour out their woes to CPI (M) MP

People complain of fever and aching jointsIllegal skin trade cited as the cause for pollutionMP demands more medical camps and additional staff

HYDERABAD: If the roads and bylanes were ever paved in recent times at Bholakpur in Musheerabad, it is certainly not visible to the naked eye. Garbage strewn everywhere interspersed with dumps of building material and with accompanying stink, the picture of the stark neglect of sanitation in Indiranagar is complete.

Is it any wonder that every other family has one or more member sick with fever, aching joints, nausea or a combination of all three ailments?

Official apathy

Tired but agitated people poured out their tales of woe when CPI (M) Rajya Sabha member P. Madhu visited the slum here on Saturday morning. "People have been suffering for the last 10 to 15 days and none seems to be bothered," cried Rahmat Ali, a resident.

"All my family members have fallen sick and we fear it is because of contaminated drinking water," said Radhika, another resident. Mr. Madhu got visibly worked up over the state of affairs and immediately contacted the MCH Commissioner and the District Collector demanding they visit the area.

He pointed out that the three medical camps with a single doctor in attendance at each was not enough and sought more medical personnel to be pressed into service. The MP pointed out that the water and sewerage lines needed a complete overhaul.

Just when he was about to leave, MCH doctor Ganesh arrived and put things in proper perspective. "Pollution due to the illegal skin trade in this area is causing all the health problems. Unless these are shut down or moved elsewhere, these health issues will keep recurring," he said.

Mr. Madhu then went around some of the skin shops functioning amidst the bylanes in squalor.

"If you keep allowing this kind of activity it will be hazardous to everyone living here. Please cooperate with the administration in this matter," he said. Skin traders in turn blamed shops selling plastic for the pollution.