I am a third generation resident of Def Colony. I have grown up here. I still go cycling in the streets. What concerns me is the detoriating civic amenities around. We pay one of the highest civic taxes as a colony of B-zone, but get a miniscule attention of the civic authorities –be it MCD, DDA or PWD. I give my time as part of RWA to do good to the society as a payback time on my part.
I am from the army. Three years back, I was down with chikungunya. For an army man, to be down with diseases like dengue, chikungunya is an offence. I could not even walk properly because the knees and joints were in a bad shape. Many, like me, had to face such problems here in Defence Colony due to the waterborne diseases. The biggest concern is it takes years to recover from these kinds of diseases.
If drains are cleaned properly and water does not stagnate, the health of residents can be protected. All the cleaning and fumigation should be started off by the MCD before monsoon arrives. But these people do it at a late stage, and by that time these vectors multiply and cannot be controlled. Before monsoon the MCD must take these steps – fumigation, spraying, cleaning of drains —then only the spread of diseases can be controlled. Diseases like dengue, malaria, chikungunya are common.
This is basically an MCD issue. They need to work hard. They need to do it in a regular basis. The MCD needs to desilt the drains before the monsoon arrives, but unfortunately it is not done. This causes flooding. Also, there are so many vendors who throw away waste in the drains and pollute the place. MCD is not doing anything about it. As a result, the drains get blocked.
The MCD sweepers, who should regularly clean the drains to prevent clogging, cannot be seen at the designated places. Leaves and garbage accumulate and clog the drains. Fumigation against mosquitoes is done at a belated stage. Neither is the DDA bothered about it, nor the MCD.
We are getting the drains cleaned by our own funds from the RWA because the MCD is not responsive and the priority of local councillors is different.
We are doing whatever we can to help the residents. If MCD is not working, then we have no option but to take on their responsibilities.
Col. HS Pall is a retired (10 years past) Army Officer of a tank corps and a third generation resident of Def Colony.
— As told to Shruti Das