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HindustanTimes Mon,29 Dec 2014

A gutter everyone wants to get out of

Hina Bhardwaj, Hindustan Times  Amritsar, October 15, 2013
First Published: 22:57 IST(15/10/2013) | Last Updated: 22:58 IST(15/10/2013)

The absence of sewerage means the Ghanapura Kale Pind locality of this city is struggling to drag itself out of gutter.

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Flies over accumulated water, broken roads, heaps of garbage and the lack of basic amenities are what it has led to. Assigned to Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the building of sewers and a sewage-treatment plant is in slow mode.

Raising a stink
Slush and stink dominate the areas behind Satellite Hospital, putting patients at the risk of aggravating their infections. A vacant plot on its side has weed so overgrown that it has covered the streetlights. Pigs, garbage; bumps, and mud are all over the roads. One little shower and the streets turn into pond, stranding pedestrians and two-wheelers.

Road to miscarriage
"Excess rain over the past few days has made the roads so rough that two women had miscarriage after being driven over the bumps," said Guru Kirpal Singh, a local. "Students get late for school and the locals want to sell off their property and migrate because of the ground condition. It's difficult to even pitch tents for social gatherings, as the surface is waterlogged and filthy," he added.

Life wriggles
An open snake sanctuary has developed around Satellite Hospital, Gurudwara Dera Baba Darshan, and Government High School. "Often, the reptiles enter the hospital, throwing patients into panic. A few bovines have died of snakebite," said an employee of the hospital. It's a constituency of nearly 25,000 people.

citizenspeak

Former health minister Dr Baldev Raj Chawala (of the BJP) visited the locality and promised a lot of change that remains to be seen
Rattan Randhawa, Mohalla Sudhar Committee president

When the road was better, JICA dug it up for laying sewers; and now work is stalled, while the surface remains to be restored
Balwinder Singh Chabal, resident

Why's there a house tax, if there are no amenities? The poor areas and not posh colonies deserve the bigger revenue share for development
Swaran Singh, resident

The completing of Ram Tirath Road is stalled. People expect to see real change and not big dreams of making city like Paris
JS Jogi, resident

officialspeak

Agreed, the work is slow but big projects need time. Mayur Bakshi Raam Arora and municipal commissioner DPS Kharbanda are aware of the issue
Nirbhai Singh, area councillor

Work on the sewage-treatment plant has halted because the machinery has been moved to the Ram Tirath Road for the chief minister's visit. With the permission of the deputy commissioner, we'll conclude the work next year
Gurmeet Singh, Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board superintending engineer

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