Pune: Even 15 days after Ambil Odha inundated the Annabhau Sathe Slum in Aranyeshwar, the sewage lines there are blocked. After the rains on Wednesday night, water entered the homes near the Odha through the clogged sewage chambers and bathroom drainage.
“We finally cleaned our houses and began buying new things. Now the water has ruined everything again,” said Anjana Kadam, a resident of the area.
The slum area has a population of 4,000. However, only houses near the Odha were inundated on Wednesday night. “The water that entered our houses the first time was from Ambil Odha. This time, it was water from the sewage lines in the slum area. When the water inundated the area last time, all the silt and garbage that came with it remained stuck in the sewage chambers.” said Gauri Patole, a resident of the area.
“Now, every time there is heavy rainfall, the water overflows from these chambers. On Wednesday night, the dirty water from the drainage entered our homes,” Gauri added.
The residents claimed they had reported the drainage issue to the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and the local corporators, but did not get any response.
“Last time, when the water entered our houses for the first time, help from the PMC came so late that we had cleaned our houses on our own by then. Each time the water comes out of the drains or from the public toilets in the slums, we have to enter the dirty water, and clean them ourselves,” said another resident, Nikita Kamble.
A mother of two and resident of the area Saroj Baundgaokar said, “We had bought a new TV set after the old one was ruined when our homes were flooded the first time. Yesterday, we had to leave that TV set behind in the rains as we ran for our lives after water began entering the house. The new bedsheets, blankets and clothes we had bought and received are spoiled by the dirty water.”
With the dirty water all around them, several children in the slum are now down with fever, diarrhea and skin infections. “My daughter is down with fever for the past few days. We have been receiving medicines from the PMC in the last two weeks, however, unhygienic living conditions are making everything worse,” resident Sarika Parmar said.
Demand for more aid
“We now need more help from the government to ensure we and our children can live here safely,” said Kamble, clutching her infant son close to her.
“The aid that came this way was distributed without assessing who needs it the most. A lot of help was limited to houses near the road that had not been affected by the flood as much as the houses near the Odha. Is it fair that people who were not really affected by the flood receive the same amount of aid as those whose lives were turned upside down?” she asked.
The residents demanded that they be given a little more amount and other aid than that received by those whose houses weren’t fully inundated.
The rain on Wednesday night also led to loss of the aid given to the affected people by the government and other organisations.
“We received grains, clothes and other things as aid. However, last night, we were so afraid that we grabbed our children and ran out of the house as the water level began increasing. How are we supposed to survive if all our aid and other things in the house continue to be washed away each time it rains heavily?” Baundgaokar sighed.
Three sewage lines cleared: PMC
- When contacted, PMC Additional Commissioner Shantanu Goyal said the work of repairing the drainage lines is presently going on. “The PMC cleared three of the four sewage lines in the area. We will take care of the fourth one immediately on Friday,” Goyal said.
- A mother of two and resident Saroj Baundgaokar said, “We had bought a new TV set after the old one was ruined when our homes were flooded the first time. Yesterday, we had to leave that TV set behind in the rains as we ran for our lives after water began entering the house. The new bedsheets, blankets and clothes we had bought and received are spoiled by the dirty water.”