Delhi’s own Venice? It’s sewage and stinks

September 24th, 2010 - 5:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party By Madhulika Sonkar
New Delhi, Sep 24 (IANS) North Delhi could well be likened Friday to Italy’s Venice where boats ply — but for the disturbing fact that these parts of the capital are inundated with stench-filled sewage water while Venice lives by canals.

Residents of north Delhi’s Mukherjee Nagar and Civil Lines feel stranded in their own homes as the sewage water and draining toilets have swamped these localities for the last two days.

The overflow of Yamuna has caused heavy waterlogging in these low-lying areas because of blocked outlet pipes and back-flowing sewage, to an extent that the residents are now using boats to reach their workplaces and schools.

The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) has been involved in the water pumping task, but that could not be of much use as the Yamuna level is also rising.

Ground-floor residents are having a tough time as the water gushed into their houses, forcing them to move to their neighbours’ first-floor flats or even vacate the houses and shift temporarily elsewhere.

“We live on the ground floor which has knee-deep water. I have not been able to go to work for the last two days. The smell is also terrible,” Vijaya Gogia, a school teacher and resident of Mukherjee Nagar, told IANS.

“We have to call boats to go to the nearby market for buying daily commodities,” she added.

Civic authorities are sensing respite as the level of the Yamuna receded by 99 cm, coming down to 206.12 metres Friday.

“The situation has improved in the locality. But we have nearly 34 boats deployed for the residents as per the requirements. Pumping operations are also on,” North zone District Commissioner Z.U. Siddiqui told IANS.

Electricity connection is also a cause of concern for the authorities. “We have disconnected power to some buildings to prevent any accident because of the water seeping in,” Siddiqui said.

The condition was worse Thursday, residents said.

“It is sad the politicians we vote for do not care if we are living in stench-filled sewage water. Imagine the hygiene level and diseases that can happen,” said Vidushi Buddhiraja, a resident of Civil Lines.

“We have been facing this problem during rains since ages. MCD (Municipal Corporation of Delhi) and DJB (Delhi Jal Board) have never bothered,” she added.

DJB officials have given up, leaving the fate of this region to the Yamuna.

“We cannot do anything about the waterlogging because of the Yamuna overflowing. We can only conduct pumping-out operations, but they are also not helping as the waterlogging is too much,” said an official from zonal control roomm in Civil Lines.

The area is also coping with serious health concerns.

“We are carrying fogging operations wherever the water has been pumped out. We have food and medicine camps on standby also,” Siddiqui said.

Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Vijay Jolly said: “It is a total mismanagement on the part of the DJB that they have not been able to solve the problem of this low-lying region in the last five years. It’s not Yamuna water, the sewage outlets are blocked.”

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