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Living in a mess

This Noida sector has several cleanliness issues, even though people serving the Indian Air Force and the Navy reside here.

There are no toilets here for domestic helpers. They come to work in the morning – leaving home as early as 5 or 5.30 am. So, obviously, they need to use the washroom – they are also humans.

Private apartments have servant quarters, but here we don’t have that. So, mostly they go for open defecation. Then there’s a huge population of stray dogs. But there are no dog corners and even the owners of pet dogs are not conscious enough to take their dogs to defecate at a designated place.

A big drain runs outside the periphery of Sector 21 and 25, from one corner to the other and is hardly ever cleaned.  This gives the area a really foul smell that is unbearable.

The drains are not covered.  Many a times, the Noida Authority has been told to cover it, but nothing has been done. They say that the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has not been allowing this because the gases that will emanate will affect the health of the residents. But there is a way – devised by NGT and IIT scientists – by which drains can be covered and at the same time there can be an outlet for the gases. Nothing has been done so far to achieve that.

There are various small drains inside – they overflow with water as well. This is also one of the biggest problems during monsoon. These are the breeding grounds for mosquitoes. To control them, fogging needs to be done.

Now that summers are approaching, efforts should be directed towards making our surroundings clean to prevent disease.

Also, garbage disposal is not managed properly. A van comes in the morning, to collects garbage and put everything together. But while leaving, he spills it here and there.

There have been talks with the Noida Authority to cover the drains and use it as a parking space. That way, they will also have additional parking. But no action has been taken. In most areas, initiatives begin with the RWAs.

Here, our RWA is Jal Vayu Awaas Vikaas Samiti (JVAVS) – which is not a regular one. It is affiliated to the Cooperative Housing Society Act and governed from Lucknow. There are only two societies governed by this kind of a system in Noida.

Regular RWAs would have done much better, but there is unwillingness to change the system because maybe they are getting some advantage from this. There have also been protests that we should be governed by RWAs.

Manika Gupta, a former journalist, is a resident of Jal Vayu Vihar, Noida Sector 25. She is the Coordinating Editor of Noida’s community newspaper Samvada

As told to Shruti Das

‘It’s a nightmare!’

The problem in our area — Dwarka — is persistent: the stench from the Najafgarh nallah  reaches our homes whenever the wind blows. So, every morning, we wake up in a room which is engulfed in the toxic fumes.

This problem worsens during summer, and the hot putrid air is not the only issue, as the water harbours mosquitoes that spread malaria, dengue and chikungunya.  A joke going around Dwarka share is that here the mosquitoes here are of a hybrid, high yielding variety.

You have to see them to believe it. They are giant creatures out to suck your blood. You cannot sit in your balcony as you’ll be surrounded by them.

Wherever you go, they follow. It’s just a nightmare. The authorities never plan in advance. The solution has always been a fumigator, which they walk around with. Here this fumigator does not work because the root cause of the problem is never dealt with.

We have drainage systems that are stagnant, which I think produce enough larvae to kill all of Dwarka. Just killing those mosquitoes in the air is not enough.

Every summer, people dread not only the Delhi heat but also the diseases. But this year, you cannot hope for anything. We will have to resort to rushing indoors, not leaving the windows or doors open, mosquito nets, sprays, coils and mosquito repellent ointments.

Swati Sethi is a student

As told to Shruti Das

Mosquitoes on the rise

I have been living in a PG near Delhi Gate for three years. Every year, in March or April – during the transition from winter to summer — there is a huge problem of mosquitoes. There are a large number of trees near my PG, and that might also be one of the reasons.

Last year, there were so many mosquitoes that it was tough to get proper sleep at night! No amount of mosquito coils or repellents would save us from the horror. We had net shields in our windows, but even that was not enough. We even tried repellent creams – and that failed miserably too.

We had no other option but to use mosquito sprays – in a huge amount – in our rooms. Though it is not a healthy practice at all – but this was our only way out. So, we used it almost thrice a day! This made me suffocate, and I had trouble breathing – but I was desperate to save myself from dengue or malaria.

Akram Khan is a medical student

As told to Shruti Das