From PM Modi's Varanasi, a Kilometre-Long Complaint

From PM Modi's Varanasi, a Kilometre-Long Complaint

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The long scroll is circulated in different areas every week

Lucknow:  Before his morning walk this morning, Anwar Khan put to paper his complaints about dirty sewage water, open garbage dumps and the lax attitude of the municipal corporation in his area. Mr Khan wants the parliamentarian from Varanasi to fix these problems. That would be Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"When Mr Modi was elected and launched the cleanliness campaign, things had improved marginally but now the condition is the same," said Mr Khan.

Since his spectacular victory from Varanasi in May last year, the Prime Minister has visited his constituency thrice. He has pledged to clean the Ganga, which flows through this sacred and ancient city; he has adopted a village nearby under a scheme that asks law-makers to modernize one village each.

But local NGO Jan Sewa Samiti - which focuses on education and Ganga cleanliness - claims it was receiving so many complaints from residents that it decided to collate them into a kilometre-long note. So far, 500 metres have been scrawled with the concerns of nearly 800 people.

"We have asked the residents of Varanasi to write down their problems as well as their solutions. Till now we have got a 500m long letter and once it becomes a km , we will contact PM Modi's office and try to send it to him," said Abhishek Kumar who works with the NGO.

The long scroll is circulated in different areas every week. Students at the famous Banaras Hindu university  have listed hostel problems, women have mentioned safety issues, others have complained about rising prices of food, but the maximum complaints are about the garbage that lies unclaimed in large piles just about everywhere .

In November, the PM swept a part of the Assi Ghat on the riverbank in Varanasi to launch the Clean India scheme in his constituency. By 2019, in time for Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary, the PM has said India must show a marked improvement in public sanitation and hygiene. Many in Varanasi say they're ready to do their bit, but they need a hand. And a waste disposal and collection system that works.

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