As taps go dry, as always, in Kurseong, the number of metal pipes that supposedly supply water to the parched town grows by the year.
The bundles all over the town have now left the drains clogged, while they have also encroached upon whatever little walking space the pedestrians have.
It is also an eyesore for visitors, especially at a time when the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration has said it has plans to beautify towns in the Hills.
Almost all the drains in the town, big or small, are filled with such pipes that stop the flow of garbage and rubbish- filled water, resulting in unhygienic conditions for townsfolk to live in.
Matters are worse during the dry season as the clogged drains give out a foul smell, forcing people to walk with their mouths and noses covered.
“The drains are still ok, come to think of it, but the pipelines that go through the sidewalks and that run parallel to the train tracks are indeed a bother for people who walk,” a resident, seemingly unhappy, said.
“These pipes even pose a problem sometimes for the Toy Train that runs on these tracks,” he added. According to Railway sources, the Toy Train has derailed a few times earlier due to the bundles of pipes along the tracks.
One Prashant Rai, a resident of Kurseong town, lamented that the drains are always blocked, “and a sickening smell emanates from there.” “My family members recently fell sick because of the unhygienic conditions and the stench,” he said.
According to him, he had written to the Kurseong Municipality about the problems, and that municipality workers had been sent to clear the drains, “but they were full and choking once again, thanks to the water pipes in them.”
A road contractor, Subash Lama, said they have had to face a lot of problems while repairing the roads and drains due to the pipes.
“The roads are also getting damaged as most of the times, the choking drains overflow and dirty water spills on these roads,” he said. A ‘safai karmachari’ (manual worker) at the Kurseong Municipality admitted that they have to face big problems as they clean the drains due to the water pipes.
“The trash that piles up in the drains is a cause of concern as it severely affects the health of the people in the town,” he said. It is learnt that the Kurseong Municipality had made plans to solve the problem around a decade ago by building several overhead water tanks in the region so that the water pipes are also arranged accordingly in a systematic manner.
“However, the plan had to be deferred due to various problems,” municipality sources said. When asked, Kurseong Municipality chairman Krishna Limboo said they will definitely discuss the issue in the coming meeting of the Board of Councillors.