Thursday, January 18, 2018
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Epidemic bomb

Allahabad is perched atop a volcano of epidemics. And this volcano may  explode any moment if an emergency cleanliness drive is not launched immediately in the city.The lifting of garbage is not taking place in several areas of the city.

  Durgapuja, Dussehra and Bakrid came and went but these  had little impact on those who are supposed to keep the city clean. The result is there for all to see. The private company which was collecting garbage from door to door  first become highly irregular in its visits. In some areas it even stopped the collection work. But on Oct 20 the company completely halted its operations.  If this stalemate continues without  solution or without an alternative arrangement  we may be having a dirty Diwali.
On Sunday I received a phone call from the eminent flute artiste of yester years- Victor Saunders. He was speaking in distress from his Rajapur residence in Uchwagarhi’s Bhoosawali Gali. The flutist told the Patrika: ‘For over one week none has come to lift the garbage from this lane’. He says: ‘It is now difficult to pass through the lane because of this ‘encroachment’ of the road by garbage. ‘ He says, ‘The problem has to be tackled both by the health authorities as also the anti-encroachment squad. It is also a problem that cannot be ignored by  the traffic police because  the mounds are causing big hindrance in the normal flow of traffic through this road’. He says: ‘It is thus a matter of triple responsibility. At least one of the responsible authorities should come forward to save  the locality from falling a prey to the epidemics that are likely to break out of the heaps if they are not removed on war footing’.
What flutist Victor has said about his street is equally true of several other areas of the city which are facing threats from a hygienic disorder of such a dangerous magnitude.
The time has come to treat this matter on an emergency basis. It is a matter that cannot be left to the CMO or the Health department of the Nagar Nigam as both of them have miserably failed to see the writing on the wall. Epidemics are staring at us with a menacing look. But those who are supposed to prevent them seem to have gone underground. Cleanliness should be given top priority at all times. But it seems to be least on our priority lists. We talk of anti-goonda drive. That is essential no doubt. But what about the ‘goondas’ that are more deadly but not visible—the ‘goondas’ represented by the diseases that are born out of the accumulated filth on the roadsides-something shameful , disgraceful and unpardonable ?

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