ANDHRA PRADESH

Coexistence with filth, stink and what not

HYDERABAD, MARCH 17. A borewell that does not fetch water, an open sewerage that runs through the twin slums, mosquito swarms and a school where three classes are run simultaneously in a single room!

Steeped in apathy and crying for basic amenities and sanitation are the twin localities of Satya Sai Nagar and Venkateswara Nagar of the Kukatpally Municipality.

The slums that are located along an abandoned train track that once used to connect the Sanathnagar Railway Station with the IDPL near Balanagar is steeped in such pathetic conditions that the dwellers have been forced to co-exist with filth, heaps of garbage in the `nala' and the stink from it for many years now. Preparing for what appears to be a tough summer ahead, the residents are now very much worried about the availability of drinking water.

A borewell located at the end of the dwellings is defunct, forcing the locals to trek further for water.

"Even when the bore yields water, it is coloured and stinks," a resident complains.

The public tap, which has to cater to the needs of these slums, hardly provides sufficient water for people living in the area.

"It is just a trickle and we have to wait patiently for the water for hours," laments another resident, Nagamani.

Every time water is supplied, scenes of arguments, jostling and fights start unfolding at the tap and water tankers hardly make a trip here.

Official apathy

The woes are many more. Some complain that municipal authorities hardly pay attention at maintaining sanitation and the `nala' that separates the two slums offers a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes and pigs.

"Can our children be safe in these conditions? Evenings come with swarms of mosquitoes," says Chandramma of Venkateswara Nagar.

Also located here is the `Mandala Pradhamika Patasala', a one-room school, where more than 30 students of three classes study simultaneously. The room is quite small and three blackboards in all!

The first and second class students sit in parallel rows while those studying in the fourth class sit in opposite direction.

And the third class? Only school authorities know its status.

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