Lucknow: Lack of piped water, narrow lanes evoke concern in Sadar’s Kasaibada
The fight against Covid-19 is quite tough in Sadar’s Kasaibada locality, more so because of a lack of piped water supply in illegal brick houses that have mushroomed along the railway track in the area over the years.Updated: Apr 27, 2020 21:53 IST
The fight against Covid-19 is quite tough in Sadar’s Kasaibada locality, more so because of a lack of piped water supply in illegal brick houses that have mushroomed along the railway track in the area over the years.
Running water is essential to wash one’s hands with soap for at least 20 seconds as this is an effective way to keep the Sars-Cov-2 pathogen at bay.
The lack of running water is not the only matter of concern as these illegal houses don’t have toilets in them. Although the Cantonment Board has constructed public toilets and mobile toilets, most slum-dwellers still relieve themselves beside drains or the railway track. Despite the area being open defecation free, residents of Sadar’s Kasaibada just have one toilet per 200 people.
The area was declared a hotspot on April 3 after 12 Tablighi Jamaat members were found infected with the coronavirus. Since then, 74 more people have tested positive in Sadar, Kasaibada.
Arif, a resident of Kasaibada, says, “A number of houses in narrow lanes across the railway track are illegally constructed. They don’t have access to proper civic amenities and basic hygiene.”
Another resident Abid says, “Lack of awareness about sanitation, modern education in slums of Kasaibada in Sadar are making things difficult.”
Most of the slum-dwellers are butchers and vegetable vendors. Some of the houses are situated on two- feet wide streets and have very little ventilation with narrow drainage giving an open invitation to disease.
“The houses are so small that it is not possible for anyone to isolate family members in case of an infection. They don’t have space, no separate rooms for home quarantine,” says Anjum Ara, the local corporator.
She says, “Initially, they were taking the coronavirus infection like any other infection because they did not know about the havoc caused by the virus in Wuhan, China. They were under the impression that they would remain unaffected by the virus as they have better immunity than others.”
“Earlier, many residents were not cooperating with the health officials because there was a trust deficit. Secondly, none of them wanted to be quarantined, if they tested positive,” she says.
Cantonment Board chief executive officer Amit Mishra, who has supervised the work in this hotspot, says, “Our staff has entered the lanes, where no one dared to go in the past. It has been possible with perfect cooperation among the district administration, the police and the Cantonment authorities. We cleaned all the drains. We are cleaning the lanes regularly. Sanitisation is ensured daily. We have sealed entry points from the railway tracks. The shanties of butchers, where animals used to be slaughtered illegally in the past, have been seized.”
He says, “We have ensured water supply in houses allotted to butchers, but the illegal houses along the railway track don’t have piped water supply. We have now put pressure on them to use public toilets and mobile toilets, but many of them still relieve themselves beside drains and the railway track. Awareness about basic hygiene is being created through corporators and influential people,” he says.
He says, “The presence of security personnel, cameras, drones and lodging of FIRs against some people has also instilled the fear of law among hooligans who used to pelt people with stones and disappear inside narrow lanes.”