Parnashala stinks as garbage piles-up in villages, authorities unmoved

Report by: 
V SENTHIL KUMAR
Port Blair
3 Jan 2018

When Mr Narendra Modi launched Swachh Bharat Mission, the most ambitious cleanliness campaign in Indian history within months into his job as the Prime Minister of the country, he might have not realized that a remote Panchayat in this remote archipelago would pose stiff challenge for him in achieving the target by Clean India by October 2019. Since launch, the Prime Minister has put enormous effort into making the Swachh Bharat Mission a flagship programme of his rule, but Parnashala Panchayat in Middle Andaman appears to be ignoring the importance of the mission if garbage that has piled up in different villages of the Panchayat is any indication.
According to reports, villagers in Parnashala have been bearing the brunt of unhygienic  conditions for the past two months. Though the Panchayat has provided Dustbins in atleast five places, non disposal for garbage accumulated in different areas has left the remote villagers harried. “Almost all the dustbins installed by the Parnashala Panchayat are overflowing with trash of all sorts, but the panchayat authorities are caring two hoots about the unhygienic conditions prevailing in the area. The stench emanating from the garbage bins has made life miserable for the villagers and others passing through the areas,” said some Parnashala residents.
“One crucial Community Health Centre comes under Parnashala Panchayat where hundreds of patients from different parts in Middle Andaman avail treatment. But insanitary conditions prevailing in the region due to unattended garbage is earning bad names for the Panchyat. People are now opting to other health centres in the North and Middle Andaman region. Despite complaints by the villagers, the Panchayat has till date taken no steps to dispose of the garbage from the spots. Even NGOs working in the field of sanitation have preferred to turn a blind eye to the problem. It seems that a group effort is on to fail the Swachhta Mission at Parnashala,” said some others.
When contacted, the Pradhan of Parnashala Panchayat, Ms. Saroni Minj said that the Panchayat is currently not in a position to hire vehicles and appoint sweepers to dispose of the garbage from the dustbins due to shortage of funds. “We’ve requested for funds to the administration and once made available, necessary steps will be taken to ensure cleanliness in the villages here,” she said.