The residents of Pokale Mala, Konark Puram, Ujwal Park, Kumar Homes and Vijay Park at NIBM road, can finally heave a sigh of relief as the stretch of one-and-a-half kilometers of nallah between Salunkhe Vihar Bridge and Pokale Mala will be developed into a closed systematic drainage line. The project under the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) will be inaugurated by MP Amol Kolhe and MLA Chetan Tupe on Saturday.
“The area came under my jurisdiction in the year 2017. While we had recognised the problem earlier on, lack of sanction of funds for the projected led to a delay in the development of the stretch of the nallah. Several residents had written to both PMC as well as to us, in order to bring the problem to light. The residents dealt with foul smell and stink due to the overflowing water and improper garbage disposal. There was also an ever-increasing infestation of mosquitoes and other insects. Our office is also next to the area and we understood the severity of the problem,” said Nanda Narayan Lonkar, local corporator, PMC.
She said that the project under PMC, which has an overall budget of 45 lakhs for the proposed drainage system, will aim to cover the stretch of nallah within two to three months.
Surendra Neel, general secretary and resident of Ujwal Park, said that in the last nine years, the problem escalated gradually. “In 2012 when I first shifted, the problem was just during summers when the water began to smell. I live on the first floor, facing the nallah, so it is in my immediate proximity. It could be dealt with in the initial years of my residence. Through years, with an increase in population and subsequent pollution, the problem became too much for residents to deal with. We then began approaching PMC and local corporator,” he said.
He added that the consistent involvement of Lonkar and her family as well as the persistence of the residents concerned helped in shedding light to the problem. “It is a sigh of relief. Lonkar ma’am has been constantly in touch with us. It was under her when JCBs were stationed to remove waste disposed near the nallah. We also hope that administratives, on all levels from local to national, should work for their people, without regard to the party they belong to.”
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