Jail Road Garbage Dump Becoming A Painful Issue For Locals
• Large pile of garbage on Jail Road troubles shopkeepers, customers
• Most of this trash is generated from Fancy Bazar, Kamarpatty and the vegetable market
• Strong stench has become a permanent feature of the entire vicinity
• GMC authorities collect the garbage from this site thrice a day
• But the place gets filled with trash within no time
• GMC authorities say people need to be conscious too
The Jail Road located in Fancy Bazar is one of the busiest areas of the commercial hub of the city. However, a large amount of garbage which is dumped perennially on one side of the road has become a major cause of concern for the nearby shopkeepers, customers as well as passers-by.
The road is marked by a strong stench which emanates from the garbage dump and has become a permanent feature of the entire vicinity.
Locals say that the trash, which gets dumped here, is mostly generated from a large area of Fancy Bazar, Kamarpatty as well as the nearby vegetable market.
To make matters worse, a number of small eateries surround the area including a few old and prominent sweet shops and food carts.
Vinod Dubey, owner of the 25-year-old sweet shop located right across the garbage dump told G Plus, “A lot of customers keep complaining to me about the foul smell and ask me how I can stand being here throughout the day. There has been a lot of talk about the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan but it seems like little work has been done at the ground level.”
He added that this has affected his sales too. “The pile of litter has become a major issue for me and my business as the shop’s sales have dropped. People don’t want to enter the lane any longer,” complained Dubey.
Further, Rajendra Kumar, who has been setting up a small food cart in the vicinity for the past 48 years, informed that the state of the Jail Road becomes worse towards the evening when a huge pile of trash gets collected by that time.
“The condition becomes so bad that people aren’t able to cross the road without covering their faces and mouths,” said Kumar while talking to G Plus.
When asked about the hygiene aspects of setting up a food cart close to the pile of garbage, Kumar said, “I have no other place to go. I have been setting up my cart at the same place since 1971 and this is my only means of livelihood. We are poor people with limited means, where else can I go?”
The locals say even though the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) authorities collect the garbage from this site at least thrice a day, the place still gets filled with trash within no time due to the sheer quantity of garbage generated from the nearby localities.
“The trash also poses a risk of contamination and of diseases and infections for those who regularly pass by this area. The scenario becomes worse when it rains,” said a local.
Even though the GMC has provided three big garbage bins at the spot, many people throw trash right outside these bins on the road, adding to the inconvenience for everyone. Due to this, the pile of garbage dump covers a large area and has blocked almost half of the road leaving very little space for the vehicles and pedestrians to move, hence making the road even more congested.
Apart from the garbage, cars parked on the side of the road have added to the woes of the people. Shopkeepers say customers don’t feel like coming here to shop given the pathetic condition of the place.
Till a couple of months ago, the old central jail campus on the road was being used as a parking space. However, the premise now remains closed creating trouble for visitors.
G Plus had earlier reported that the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) officials said that the land was not allotted for parking on a permanent basis. They further mentioned that they are planning to develop a botanical garden for the city in the old jail premise which will also have a separate space allotted for parking.
Talking about the possible solutions, Dubey said that the authorities should make provisions to shift this garbage from its current place to inside the old jail premises.
“Till the time authorities do not start the development work in the area, it should be allowed to shift the garbage bins inside the jail campus,” he said.
On the other hand, GMC authorities said they collect garbage from the site thrice a day. “We pick up the garbage from here during early morning, evening as well as at night. The first collection happens at around 5 am, the second cleaning takes place in the evening around 5 pm and finally at night at around 10 pm too, another round of collection takes place with the excavators and dumpers,” said Sanjay Boro, a GMC worker.
He further mentioned, “We are making efforts from our side but the garbage keeps getting dumped here. The public should also be a bit conscious. Many times, they throw the garbage on the road itself and would not take the effort to throw it in the bins.”
Boro also said that they face trouble in picking up the garbage as many people often park their cars in front of the bins, making it difficult for their machines to access them.
GMC Commissioner Debeswar Malakar said, “I will discuss the matter with the concerned engineer of the division and appropriate steps will be taken immediately.”