The poor behaviour of society which does not flinch in throwing garbage into the drains leading to the flooding during the monsoon does not help matters
While it is quite easy and convenient to blame the civic authorities for hardships being faced, most often it is the irresponsible behaviour of the common man that is the actual cause of problems. A case in point the flooding that happened in Margao during the first heavy showers it received.
Given the fact the drains are treated as dustbins where all kinds of waste is dumped. It is quite an arduous task for the municipal workers to clean the drains of the plastic, cloth and all other things including footwear that is clogging it.
And though the Directorate of Municipal Administration gave its permission to employ additional staff for pre monsoon cleanliness after the monsoons had nearly set in, the MMC using its own staff had undertaken pre monsoon cleanliness and completed it in most places.
However, the clogging of the storm water drain near Hotel La Flor was one of the main reasons for the flooding as water from the municipal drains empties into this storm water drain that was totally clogged and the MMC had to even use Konkan Railway Corporation staff to clean the drain.
“Do you realize how much garbage is there on the tracks and where will this go?” asked Deputy General Manager of KRC Baban Ghatge pointing out that the garbage enters the drains and ultimately clogs it. He also said the drain near Hotel La Flor is slightly at an elevated level and hence the water does not flow into the storm water drain easily and suggested the drain be slightly lowered there.
While admitting ticket collectors are empowered to fine passengers found throwing waste outside the train windows, he admitted the fines imposed are minimal and agreed that this has to be strengthened to bring about some discipline amongst the passengers.
“However, to tide over the problem we have dug a separate trench to divert the water from there to the drain near Cine Lata and that did help to some extent to ease the problem,” he said.
Water entering nearly 60 houses at Cine Lata can also be blamed on the people as many of them have extended their shanties to erect toilets and kitchen over the municipal drains. “All the muck from these extensions enter the drains and they block them,” said Margao Municipal Council Chairperson Dr. Babita Prabhudessai.
“The municipality does not receive any money from these people living near Cine Lata as they live in illegal houses and yet we are expected to clean up the mess they create,” lamented Dr. Babita while revealing that she had spoken the women folk and asked them not to throw their waste in the municipal drains.
Another problem faced by the council is hoteliers and other establishments releasing their waste water directly into the municipal drains and this is observed at various places. In fact at Liberty Cleaners, Fire Services had to be called to use their high pressure hoses to clear the drain that was clogged with solidified waste from a restaurant and a sweet mart shop both of which had laid a special pipe to release their waste in the drain.
Dr Babita has now instructed the municipal engineer to check every drain and block any outlet into it releasing waste water or any other water. “The municipal drains are to take away only monsoon water and nothing else,” she asserted.
Presently the road gangs of MMC have been entrusted the task of cleaning the drains but they too are handicapped as there is no logistic support. “We need more vehicles to transport the waste regularly,” said Chief Officer Johnson Fernandes.
Around a fortnight back MMC staff had trimmed the branches of trees growing by the road side. At Sirvodem the trimmed branches are still lying over the drains and the leaves that dried off fell in the drains and were washed away by the monsoon water.