BY SAMEER BHATT | NT
CURCHOREM: A municipality is supposed to maintain cleanliness within the municipal area but it is hard to believe that a slum area exists in the backyard of the CCMC municipal building at Curchorem.An area of about 100 sqm behind the CCMC building houses 29 families belonging to municipality workers including four blacksmith families residing at the slum for the last 40 years.
The families have constructed temporary structures having neither ventilation facilities nor access to pure drinking water. Recently, water and electricity meters have been installed in their huts.
The slum dwellers were provided two sulabh toilets from a government scheme. One toilet was closed due to its pathetic state while the other is used by the dwellers. When the septic tank of the toilet overflows the residents defecate in the open while some go to the sulabh toilet at KTC bus stand or at the sulabh toilet behind SUDA market.
When contacted the chief officer of CCMC Agnelo Fernandes, said that the area behind the CCMC building where the municipal workers are residing belongs to a private party. The survey of the said plot was done in 2013 and efforts are being done to contact the landowners, he said.
A resident Shakuntala Talwar informed that there is no proper drainage system in the area and children are under the threat of vector borne diseases. She said that the residents are living on the assurances given by politicians during the elections.
A blacksmith Manoj Salunke informed that his grandmother had died due to malaria and the gutters have become the breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Local councilor Rosha Pereira said he has tried his best to ensure cleanliness in the area by cleaning the gutters and visiting the site regularly. However, the CCMC has no powers to acquire the site.
When contacted Curchorem MLA Nilesh Cabral, said that the structures erected by the municipal workers behind CCMC building are in private property and are illegal. However, efforts will be done to rehabilitate the workers but the process of acquisition of land has been stopped due to technical reasons.