PUNE: The area around the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co Ltd (MSEDCL) transformer located on the Gadital-DP Road in Hadapsar was being used for dumping garbage for over 20 years. Neither the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) nor MSEDCL authorities were worried about the cleanliness of the area. However, a concerned citizen staying at the Kubera Vihar Housing Society near the transformer, took the initiative of cleaning the area.
Navnath Misal, a resident of the society who took the intiative, said, “There were heaps of garbage in the area around the transformer. It used to stink throughout the day. I requested the PMC and MSEDCL authorities to help us in cleaning up the space. Around 25 people helped us in this initiative, including some local residents. Some PMC staffers and volunteers from SWaCH also supported us.”
Local residents blamed the traffic police for the mess, as they were not taking action against illlegal parking near the transformer. Pandurang Jadhav, former chairman of the society, said, “People travelling by luxury buses made the area dirty by spitting, throwing waste and defecating. There is a parking and halt space alloted for these buses near Akashwani bus stop. Yet, buses are parked on this road.”
Meanwhile, when Sakal Times tried repeatedly to contact DCP (Traffic) Ashok Morale, he was not available. Misal said, “MSEDCL authorities were reluctant to help as they responded late. While cleaning the space around the transformer, MSEDCL staffers did not cooperate with them.”
Anil Gauda, Assistant Engineer of MSEDCL, said, “Transformers in the city cannot be monitored on a daily basis due to a shortage of manpower. Also, people dump garbage around this transformer at night. We wanted to support them whenever they required help from us. There may have been some issues regarding coordination with our staff.”
Sachin Ladkat, Sanitary Officer of the PMC, said, “We intimated MSEDCL authorities several times on this issue. However, they did not switch off power supply to the transformer. Hence, we were not able to carry out the cleaning around it.”
Giving details about their initiative, Misal said, “I have been staying in the society for the past three years. I noticed that workers of restaurants and wine shops in our area used to dump leftover food and liquor bottles around the transformer. Luxury bus passengers and drivers along with alcoholics used to urinate openly there. They used to throw plastic, empty bottles near the transformer.”
“We started cleaning the area in December for two hours on Sundays. We used to collect 100 kg garbage every week. PMC authorities had arranged a truck on Mondays, which carried four tonnes of garbage. Now, the area is 80 per cent clean,” Misal added.