When the ubiquitous sari doubles up as a fence

Saris were sought as donation from the neighbourhood

Saris were sought as donation from the neighbourhood   | Photo Credit: S_James

After cleaning nala, residents of Puppalguda Colony find a quick solution to curb dumping

A neighbourhood in Puppalguda seeks to protect a stormwater drain in its area from garbage and encroachment by fencing it. But for a change, bricks and cement have been replaced by saris.

A 200-metre stretch of Bulkapur Nala in Srinagar Colony received a clean-up after being used as dumping ground for years. Assisted by locals, a civil society organisation took up cleaning of the drain’s banks a week ago. Concerned about encroachment, members of the organisation Dhruvansh also decided that fencing was an immediate necessity. Saris were sought as donation from the neighbourhood and tied on both ends of the stretches of the nala on Tuesday.

“We sought saris from the neighbourhood to fence the portion of the nala that we had cleaned. Waste from butcher shops and kitchens from the neighbourhood as well as those from commercial establishments were being dumped in the area. Until a concrete wall can be put up, we hope the sari-fencing will serve as deterrent to garbage dumping,” said Madhulika Chowdary, an academic and environmentalist, associated with the NGO. Banners have also been put up along the fence to discourage dumping.

The nearly 7 km nala stretches from Durgam Cheruvu to Ibrahim Cheruvu before entering the Musi, weaves its way through Manikonda, Puppalguda and Neknampur villages. Old-timers from these villages, which are now sprawling urban jungles, say the drain has narrowed greatly due to encroachments.

“I have heard the drain was wider in the past. It has shrunk to less than few feet in some places. Houses have been constructed around and on it,” said D. Sitaramadass, president, Federation, All Resident Welfare Associations of Puppalguda, Neknampur and Manikonda Villages.

In Sriramnagar Colony, the locals planted saplings on the cleaned banks. Their plan is to turn the area green and remediate the water naturally to create an allure for the stretch. They are also calling the drain ‘River Park’, urging others to desist from calling it a ‘nala’ to project the stretch’s charm. “We are sure the sari fencing attracts people to see the change happening. After the plants grow, we hope the cleanliness of the area will dissuade garbage dumping,” Ms. Chowdary said.

The cleaning and fencing efforts have been opposed by others who claim rights to the land. “There is both government and patta land on two sides of the drain. On a few occasions, some people sought to construct a concrete wall claiming ownership. We demolished these constructions. We have told them that construction cannot be allowed until the drain’s spread and the extent of patta land is demarcated,” informed Gandipet MRO Saritha.

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Printable version | May 25, 2020 7:30:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/when-the-ubiquitous-sari-doubles-up-as-a-fence/article19964262.ece

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