MUST READ: Lyell Street in a state of decay

Sand has accumulated at the Paterson Street curve, a potential danger for motorists.

How much ‘hometown pride’ do Newcastillians have?

While there are many who tout this piece of Northern KwaZulu-Natal as the greatest, others are sadly allowing areas of town to fall into decay and disrepair.

Lyell Street is among those sordid, almost forgotten areas.

Linking Paterson and Murchison Streets, Lyell Street featured in the heydays of Newcastle, home to the train platform and numerous nearby ‘railway houses’.

In modern times, this street has become a communal dumping ground.

Upon the now-abandoned railway platform, broken glass and mounds of refuse mar whatever historical value the area once had.

This litter extends onto street level and into the nearby grass.

A drain cover is missing and has exposed a deep hole, into which residents are content to dump full-to-bursting shopping bags and empty alcohol bottles.

The road surface at the Paterson curve is also in a bad way.

Copious amounts of sand have piled up at this intersection, while the verges on both sides of the road are heavily overgrown.

This could be dangerous to vehicles using this road.

Dr Thava Kelly of Community Services’ Waste Management, laid the blame for Lyell Street’s state solely at the feet of residents.

“The public needs to understand that there should not be dumping anywhere. There are a number of constraints and the department does not have the capacity to reach out to all areas. If a complaint is lodged, then we respond to the complaint,” she concluded.

Dr Kelly’s response follows an article in mid-July, in which she mentioned proposed heavy fines for those guilty of littering, dumping and burning refuse.

Fines were the department’s answer to continual dumping in Newcastle.

Dr Kelly had explained the frustration resulting from those who believed ‘not in my backyard’ meant tossing the trash onto any open piece of land.

“We are trying to reduce overtime and can’t afford to go on at this rate. Instead of basic service delivery, we are chasing after residents,” she said at the time.

For any queries or complaints, contact the department on 034 328 7600.

Bruce Douglas

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