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Health hazards galore

We live in Nizamuddin West area — right adjacent to the Barapullah nullah. The nullah or drain passes through some of Delhi’s best colonies. We are subjected to a lot of stench from the drain, in addition to the toxic gases and dust. I feel we are probably the worst colony in Delhi. There are heaps of plastic bags, garbage and tons of flies, mosquitoes and even pigs near that nullah.

Residents of the area are prone to vector-borne diseases like malaria and dengue. We have been facing this problem for about 50 years now. This place is an eyesore and a blot on the capital city. It is a slap in the face of the Swachch Bharat mission. Moreover, it is a tourist hotspot – with many foreigners coming to visit. It leaves a really bad impression about our country. One cannot stand even for two minutes near the drain — there’s a foul smell everywhere. It creates a polluted atmosphere, affecting lungs of the residents, especially the elderly people and children.

Apart from mosquito-borne diseases, residents also face breathing problems. All of us are suffering. Every now and then people are falling sick. Our ACs get corroded due to these toxic gases that emanate from the drain. Imagine if these gases can harm the ACs, then how much harm they might be causing to our lungs. Day in and day out we are inhaling such poison.
Such a place — which is considered the heart of national capital — is in such a condition. This is shameful. Most importantly, no one is ready to own it up. Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) says this area is part of Delhi Development Authority (DDA). DDA says something else. Then there’s the Delhi Jal Board (DJB), they make their own excuses.

I feel this barren land can be converted to something useful. We can plant trees and turn it into a cycling or walking track, which the residents can use. Or maybe if such steps are taken, it can be even converted to a biodiversity park. But it has been ignored by the government.

Politicians and bureaucrats are ignoring this issue for a long time. No one is taking this up and doing something about it apart from pointing fingers at each other. We have our representative who attends the National Green Tribunal (NGT) meeting every month. But no major steps have been taken. We have even approached the Public Grievance Monitoring System. Many of the residents filed complaints with them.

By Pradeep Lamba, RWA Rep, Nizamuddin West