Life for the residents of Sector 14, Vasundhara, is not easy. They have been struggling with several civic issues such encroachments, open garbage dumps and poorly-managed drainage since the last 15 years.
As many as 300 MIG flats were constructed here in 1989 by the state housing development board. Another 200 plots were allotted by the board to the residents, on which they have now constructed houses. Another residential society, Syndicate Ashiana, having 150 flats is also located in the region, making the number of people living in Sector 14 over 2,600.
The sector has two major private schools and a private hospital but no government-facilitated infrastructure otherwise. The administration of the sector was handed over to the Ghaziabad Municipal Corporation (GMC) in 1997.
Open garbage dump
A vacant plot located near Seth Anandram Jaipuria School in the area has become an open garbage dump, becoming a major health and environment hazard for the students and the people living in the vicinity.
Needless to say, the area has become a regular haunt for cattle and stray animals, who loiter around the garbage, considerably adding to the filth and the stench, which can be sensed from about 500m away.
“You cannot avoid the filth and the stench of that plot as it is located on the main road. It is cleaned only during Navratri when Ramlila is held here by private organisers. Officials have turned a blind eye to the situation,” said Ankit Chaudhary, a resident of the area.
However, according to officials, the area is designated for a permanent garbage collection centre. “We have put two garbage collection bins in the area to collect trash from all sectors of Vasundhara. Sometimes it overflows but it is cleaned by municipal workers from time to time,” said Dr RK Yadav, GMC’s city health officer.
Most drains in the area are choked, posing serious health concerns for the residents. The main drain stretches across most of the sector along the Maharaja Agrasen Road and the service lanes.
“It becomes difficult to pass through the area due to open drains emitting foul smell of stagnant water. Moreover, during rainy season, the drains overflow and the dirty water enters the houses,” said Aman Bhardwaj, a resident of the area.
The officials, however, have something else to say. According to them, the drains are cleaned regularly. “The drains are only choked at places where residents have covered them, trying to make ramps for their homes. This makes it difficult for the workers to clean that area. The other areas are cleaned regularly,” said RK Yadav, executive engineer of GMC’s water works department.
Rampant encroachments by shopkeepers and vendors at the commercial complex on Maharaja Agrasen Road and roadside parking leave little space for vehicles to move on the main road, leading to traffic congestion and mismanagement.
“While shopkeepers at the commercial complex have extended their shops on the area designated for parking, road-side parking used by customers has also become a nuisance. We have complained about this to the authorities but to no effect,” said Gaurav Sharma, a resident of the locality.
However, officials are saying the encroachments will be cleared. “We will get the spot checked and clear the encroachments soon,” said DK Sinha, additional municipal commissioner, Ghaziabad.