Vijayawada: About 1,500 families living in Perni Nani Nagar, on the outskirts of district headquarters Machilipatnam, say they won’t cast their vote until at least one of the candidates promises them that their long-pending demand to shift the garbage dump from the area is kept.
Residents of the area say they, especially children and the elderly, have been suffering from severe breathing problems since the past few years. The dumping yard is located about 1 km from the Mudu Sthambalu centre in Machilipatnam.
According to the locals, around members of most of the 1,500 or so families have been suffering from ill health as they have been inhaling polluted air on a regular basis for the past 15 years. No official or politician has come forward to solve their problem, they say. They have made it clear that would vote for the candidate who comes forward to solve their problem even if defeated in the election. If not, they say they have the option of using NOTA.
Machilipatnam municipality employees are dumping garbage in the area every day. Not only that, they set it on fire regularly, due to which a smoke envelops the area, making it difficult to breathe.
Speaking to this newspaper, Sk. Shamsheer, an engineering student, expressed disappointment with the officials and politicians. “The Constitution guarantees every citizen Fundamental Rights of life and personal liberty under Article 21. The action of the municipal officials is in violation of Article 21. The state is duty bound to provide a good environment and good health to its citizens.”
“If the municipal employees continue to dump garbage here and set it on fire, it would result in the deaths of the people living in the area,” Mr Shamsheer said.
He said that if no candidate or political party gives a convincing assurance to shift the dumping yard, he and many others would exercise the NOTA option.
A rickshaw-puller said that the municipal officials have been pressuring families living near the garbage dump to vacate the area whenever they raise the dumping yard issue. He said that the residents have approached the municipal authorities and the public representatives seeking shifting of dumping yard several times, but in vain....