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HindustanTimes Sat,29 Nov 2014

Living in vehras akin to hell, say residents

Harshraj Singh, Hindustan Times  Ludhiana, February 19, 2013
First Published: 19:37 IST(19/2/2013) | Last Updated: 19:39 IST(19/2/2013)

Unsanitary living conditions at 'vehras' housing hundreds of migrant labourers across the city are posing a health risk to those living there even as owners and authorities seem to be oblivious to the imminent dangers.

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Residents of these 'vehras' complain not only of improper disposal of garbage, but blocked sewerage and stagnating sewage in their respective areas.

The conditions around 'vehras' are so bad that it is difficult to stand there for long. Sewage stagnating on roads was an open invitation to outbreak of many dreaded ailments. Vehra residents also claimed that they were forced to consume 'stinking' water.

Some 'vehras' accommodate more than 30 families in different rooms. A visit to 'vehras' situated on the Mall Godown road near the railway line, Dhandari, revealed horrible living conditions.
Residents claimed that many were suffering from diarrhoea, headache, nausea and others problems due to unhygienic conditions.

Mohammad Sakeel complained that he was suffering from stomach ache and diarrhoea for the last few days due to worst conditions that he claimed were like hell. Other 'vehra' residents Brijesh Paswan and Ashok Yadav also complained of diarrhoea and said that they were undergoing treatment at a local clinic.

Brijesh lamented that he was forced to live in such inhuman conditions due to low income and lack of other alternative, adding that though many residents of 'vehras' were suffering from various ailments no authority was paying attention to their grievances. 

When asked, Manoj Kumar, son of an owner of a 'vehra', expressed his helplessness in redressing the grievances of his tenants and added that private labourers have been hired to take care of sewerage blockage. Owner of another 'vehra', Waris Ram, said that they had filed many complaints with authorities concerned but to no avail.

When contacted, municipal corporation additional commissioner Dawinder Singh assured that MC teams would visit the affected areas and take care of sanitation problem.

He claimed that the civic body was making efforts to improve the living conditions in 'vehras' following instructions from the deputy commissioner.

Assistant civil surgeon Dr KS Saini also assured that a team from the nearby dispensary would visit the area to examine patients.

Ward number 16 councillor Radhe Krishan refused to comment on the matter, adding that he was busy with Moga by-poll.

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