Faizullah Ganj is barely a kilometre away from Old City’s most beautified stretch – Hussainabad, but it is an underdeveloped area, where people haven’t witnessed any cleanliness drives.
Residents say there locality has never been on the priority list of any government. “Our area never saw any cleanliness drive or development work, may be because we don’t deserve to live in human conditions,” laments Akhtari Fatima, a native of Faizullah Ganj.
Akhtari’s one-room house is situated adjacent a huge dairy having some 20 cattle. She says there is no pucca road that leads to her house. “Believe me, I am not exaggerating, in the rainy season the stinky water from the dairy not only ruins our belongings in the house but we also have to wade through waist-deep water to reach out to the main road. Do we really deserve this,” she asks.
- Faizullah Ganj has a population of 1.25 lakh and the problems are the same for all.
- People say the area is plagued with the problem of water-logging as there is no sewage line, no water pipelines, due to which people have to depend on a few houses in the locality that are equipped with submersible pumps.
- Residents say there locality has never been on the priority list of any government in the past.
She is not the lone person who spoke out against civic apathy in the locality. Faizullah Ganj has a population of 1.25 lakh and the problems are the same for all. People say the area is plagued with the problem of water-logging as there is no sewage line, no water pipelines, due to which people have to depend on few houses in the locality that are equipped with submersible pumps.
“Cleanliness is just one issue among several others. Amid dearth of basic infrastructure, it seems pointless talking about cleanliness in the locality,” says Hamid Ali Siddiqui, another resident.
However, people have hope from the Yogi Government.
On March 24, chief minister Yogi Adityanath had emphasised that government offices need to ensure cleanliness on the lines of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
“I am sure the Yogi government will do something to make our locality developed and clean,” says Wali Ahmed, another resident of the locality.
Ahmed said Daulatganj, Thakurganj, Yaseenganj, Wazir Bagh, Billaujpura, Khadra and Mehbullapur are a few other areas where cleanliness is a major issue.
Chowk market victim of civic apathy
Often referred as the city’s ‘Chandni Chowk’, the Chowk market seems to have fallen victim to the apathy of civic agencies.
Among all the stretches here, Chowk’s main connecting road from Clock Tower to Hussainabad is most dirty. The huge garbage dump on the road opposite Kanchan Market is a major cause of concern for locals.
“The garbage dump has made our life hellish. It is not only affecting our health, but also our business, as people don’t feel like coming to the shops due to the filthy environment,” says Ajay Rastogi, a shop owner in Kanchan Market.
He says garbage is dumped in such a way that it covers almost half the width of the road, leaving hardly any space for commuters. Traders have contacted officials in this regard, but the situation remains the same. “We have approached the municipal corporation and requested them many times to ensure regular cleaning of the garbage on the road. But, the officials pay no heed towards our plea,” says Anil Sharma, another trader from Kanchan Market.
Other traders too blame the municipal corporation and demand removal of garbage dump from the vicinity. A few say the polluted environment also causes inconvenience to foreign tourists, who visit the ‘heritage’ market frequently.
Chowk, one of the oldest markets in city, is also among major tourist attractions of Lucknow. It houses a large number of shops dealing in Zari work garments and is a hub of street food and authentic Awadhi cuisines.
In September last year, the previous state government had prepared a detailed project report (DPR) for Chowk beautification.
As per plan, Chowk was to be developed as the next heritage area after Hussainabad. The stretch from Kamla Nehru Park to Koneshwar temple was shortlisted for the purpose.
However, the apathetic attitude of the municipal agencies seemed to have played spoilsport. People have hope from the Yogi government, which is focusing on cleanliness.
“Chowk is the state capital’s lifeline. It’s perhaps UP oldest general market and its beautification is a wonderful initiative,” said Yogesh Praveen, a city-based historian.