UNKEMPT and poorly maintained stairway servitudes, particularly those in ward 31, have prompted calls for the municipality to appoint a dedicated team to deal with the issue as a matter of urgency.
According to residents, the walkway is used 24/7 all year long and it currently an eyesore. One resident said a maggot infested rat was lying on the pathway recently and said the grass needed to be trimmed and rubbish removed.
“The bins on the light poles need to be emptied and the walkway scrubbed with disinfectant. The trees on the verge need to be pruned as vagrants are using the area as a toilet, and one light pole needs to be repaired,” he said.
Topping the list of areas in need of maintenance is the stairway at the intersection of Currie and St Thomas Roads, which residents describe as “unhygienic”.
Responding to the allegations, ward councillor Chris Pappas said the stairway was generally kept clean, however general infrastructure issues needed to be addressed.
“The hand railings are broken and should be fixed or taken away. There are a lot of senior citizens in the area who could utilise this. The weeds need spraying and grass on the stairs cut back,” he said.
Pappas said the issue of maintaining stairway servitudes was difficult as four different departments were involved in this process.
“The lights are overseen by the Electricity Department, the bins are cleaned by DSW, the grass is cut by Parks Special Services and the infrastructure falls under Roads maintenance. At any time, you are dealing with four departments to do four different things. Besides DSW cleaning once a week, there is no focus from the Roads Department and Parks have no schedule for grass cutting at these servitudes and only attend to them when there are complaints,” he said.
Pappas said he had compiled a list of all the stairway servitudes in the ward which he sends to relevant officials for attention every month.
He said the servitudes generally end up as dump sites or are used as a toilet, like the servitude along the Musgrave Road Bridge and the path to Meadow Road from Kenilworth Road.He said another stairway servitude from Spring Walk to Walmer Avenue didn’t extend far enough up the road and just ended abruptly, forcing people to walk further up Methodist Road to Randles Road.
“Residents have been trying for 15 years to get something done to reinstate the servitude. The municipality has Public Realm Contracts, under which I feel these servitudes should fall. There needs to be a dedicated team that deals with servitudes and fixes infrastructure, lights, cuts grass and cleans up instead of different departments having to take this on at varying times,” he said.
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