Nagpur: 94% residents of this area complain that nallahs are not cleared or cleaned regularly; there is an abundance of pigs and other animals roaming the road; 94% people also say water supply is irregular and 88% people say the water quality is bad -66% say water bills are very high and 78% say there aren’t hospital or primary health care facilities – that is Aasinagar zone.
We begin outlining the results of our ‘NMC survey’ with this very Aasinagar zone. Alphabetically, this is the first on the list but the sad fact is that as far as urban development goes it would be the dismal last.
Where exactly is Aasinagar?
Aasinagar lies to the North – East part of the city flanked on two sides by the zones of Mangalwari Bazar and Satranjipura. Part of the Kamptee road lies on it as well as the Ring road that cuts across the Kamptee road in front of Maruthi show room.
It is a mix of small industries, commercial places, independent homes as well as a proliferation of slums.
Proliferation of slums
According to a survey conducted by NMC Aasinagar has the largest number of slums in Nagpur, namely 63. Thirty three of which were notified, 24 non notified and 2 newly ‘developed’.
(Interestingly, of the slums identified in the city, 71 % are in east Nagpur, while 29% are located on west part of the city. According to a slum mapping, there are 8,58,983 people living in these slums. There are 447 slums in the city.)
The slums themselves are a contrast in study. Some of the notified ones are pampered with cement roads and good street lighting, assured water supply etc. While as the non-notified and ‘new’ ones have lakhs of people living in them. Slums without proper facilities like drinking water, power supply, toilet, garbage disposal, road, street lights and drainage. This is because the notified slums in the city are recognised by the NMC, where as non-notified slums are the slums which lack basic infrastructure, and are not recognized by the local self government.
But dalit leader and ex IAS officer Kishor Gajbhiye who lives in this zone points out that it is not only slums but colonies having good, permanent houses that haven’t been given ‘ownership’ rights yet and thus there is no development work undertaken at all.
“There are no roads, absolutely no sewer lines – zero sewer lines – either no water connection or faulty meters that charge too much” he complains. Citing examples he says colonies like Samata Nagar, Garab Nawaz nagar and Ekta nagar suffer from all these problems.
When asked about play grounds and recreation facilities he scoffs ” people of North and East Nagpur do not have the ‘luxury’ of such things. They are meant for South and West Nagpur – the C.M.’s constituency and where the rich and elite live.”
Many residents agree – though their expectations about this are minimal to begin with.
Recreation will come when health care happens first. There are many private hospitals but no reliable NMC run clinics or hospitals. There are maternity homes with no Doctors and crumbling buildings.
78% people thus stated that they have no awareness of ‘hospital or health care’ that is supposed to be provided by NMC and over 60% people complain there is no mosquitoes control and no public awareness spread about Malaria, Dengue and other serious illness’ caused by mosquito bites.
Poor roads further damaged by corruption
The Ashi Nagar zone of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has seen an irate citizen’s demand for trial pit (inspection) of a road constructed last year which did not last even for a few months. He complained and asked for quality inspection which was delayed endlessly despite directives from the city engineer’s office to this effect.
The NMC had entrusted private contractor M/s Premchand Rachumal to asphalt the road from Kamgar Nagar Square to Sugat Nagar Square and Kabir Nagar Square to Power Grid Square in Prabhag 2 of Ashi Nagar zone. The civic body spent over Rs35 lakh for the work. The work order was issued on January 20, 2014, and the work was completed mid-last year.
The tarring work was very sub-substandard, and as a result the road surface started peeling off. Irked by the shoddy work, Sayad Shoyeb, an activist, filed a complaint with the zone office and also submitted a complaint with NMC city engineer Sanjay Gaikwad demanding a quality test of the road in February this year. But as we know bad and substandard roads are not a monopoly of Aasinagar.
The C.M. Fadnavis himself in a press conference at Nagpur had agreed that there was so much corruption in such matters that an inquiry set up by him showed that tar samples that were supposed to be sent for quality inspections before roads being laid out were never sent. False reports of ‘satisfactory’ quality were submitted.
Despite so many problems, citizens said that their Corporators were not available for meetings with common people let alone redressing their grievances.
Sad state of affairs for an area that has given a ‘Guardian Minister’ to the city in the UPA regime!
How we carried out our survey –
Of the 50 people interviewed, 63% were males and 37% females. 79% were in the age group of 31 to 60 and 11% each of the age groups of 16 to 30 and over 60 years.
Sunita Mudaliar (Associate Editor)
Pics by Shubham Kamble