Cleanliness in most district roads in local areas of Indian towns is still expectant of VIPs visit. If there is any VIP visit in the locality, the roads are broomed, garden plants all trimmed, offices cleaned, roadside trees and grasses cut and clipped properly completely changing the look of the locality. But alas, the VIPs do not visit everyday not even cross all the roads and the civic broom could only peep out with a hope to make it to the roads someday.
Something very similar happened in Jharkhand’s Nayatoli. It was a pleasant evening for the residents of the Nayatoli to behold the sight of over 50 safai workers and supervisors of Ranchi Municipal Corporation giving a thorough scrub to their filthy locality.
Nayatoli is a part of Dibdih and is located in ward 36, only 5 km from Harmu bypass. However, the residents could not recall the last time when RMC took up any cleaning work here before Friday in the area where roads are filthy and there is complete absence of a drainage system.
Later the residents discovered that all this was for the launch of the Centre’s Swachhata hi Seva on Saturday, which will last till Gandhi Jayanti, October 2, with the celebration of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched it nationwide, chief minister Raghubar Das did the honours here.
This tribal area which has around 400 houses and 5,000 people, bore a clean lookon Saturday. Roads were cleaned, bushes and grasses trimmed and chlorine powder sprayed all across to welcome the chief minister on Saturday morning who came along with his cabinet colleagues, MPs, MLAs, BJP workers and leaders as well as Ranchi mayor Asha Lakra, her deputy Sanjeev Vijayvargiya, among others.
The programme scheduled at 10.30am started some 90 minutes late, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s interactive address to the nation was over.
“Tribals are known to keep their locality clean, we should learn from them. This locality lacks in basic infrastructure such as good road, drainage and streetlights. I promise Nayatoli will soon become naya (get a new look). I came to know most houses don’t have LPG connections. You will be soon covered under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana,” the CM promised before taking up the broom in his hands to launch Swachhata hi Seva.
The CM and other VIPs, brooms in their hands, hit the roads to clean them. Thankfully for them, roads were clean as the RMC had done the job thoroughly on Friday evening.
Residents who participated in the drive said they were doing it at the Prime Minister’s call. “This is for first time that the chief minister and cabinet ministers of Jharkhand visited our locality. I wish they do so every month so that RMC does some work here,” said resident Philip Tirkey. “The Prime Minister calls for people’s participation in the cleanliness drive but what about RMC? Who will fix their responsibility?”
An undergraduate student, Jaimanti said her locality was yet to be covered under the drinking water supply system of drinking water and sanitation department. “We depend on four hand pumps and one well to draw water for daily use. Few months ago, two water storage tanks were installed. Water crisis is huge here,” she said.
Drainage system is completely absent in the locality and residents manage with kutcha drains they dig. “This January, RMC started building a small drainage system, but nine months later only 25 per cent work has been done. We don’t know who the contractor is and when work will be over. During the monsoon, the locality turns into a mess,” said Jyoti Tirkey, another college student.