Under fancy Barapullah flyover, a nightmare

Barapullah is a large nullah going through a major section of the city. We, the residents of Nizamuddin West, are suffering for years due to the pollution it is causing. Anyone living here will tell you that the toxic gases are really harming the residents.
We don’t know what concoction of effluents is finding its way into the nullah. From your refrigerator to ACs – all the electrical appliances are damaging. Wires are facing corrosion much quicker than in other areas. So, one can only imagine what they are doing to the inside of our bodies.

The smell, of course, is one indicator, but the effluents should be tested to see what the residents are living with. We have also heard about the increasing number of cancer cases. I don’t know if that study has been done to show what’s going on or there’s any possible link between the effluents and how the residents are suffering.

Firstly, anyway we are dealing with pollution in Delhi which is pretty harmful. Added to that is the pollution in our area. And unless we don’t know what kind of chemicals are these and what are the sources – which are coming into the nullah, proper measures cannot be taken. So, we need to check what industrial waste are also coming into it or not. Secondly, why is it so difficult for the authorities to take action? Checking it and treating it.

Respiratory issues are there as well. Something is wrong with the air. It’s not just smell of sewage. And it’s a breeding ground for mosquitoe-bornediseases like chikungunya, dengue, malaria. One would have to do a survey and see, but am sure there will be a direct correlation with the breeding ground and what residents are facing.

I am not comfortable taking my child over there, even for a walk in the evening or something. And in the evening, we just have to shut the doors and windows. And the tragedy it is something which can be corrected but nothing has been done so far.
There is a case that has been filed in NGT, asking the different authorities — whether it is pollution control board or the DJB or the NCD. The nullah cuts several neighbourhood and not just one. So, it has to be looked at in a comprehensive way by all the authorities concerned. It’s not a question of beautification, it’s a question of health.

One needs to check the chemical flow — what is coming into the drain or you do some kind of a plantation. And cleaning of the nullah regularly needs to be done. Let alone cleaning, in fact it’s more used as a dumping ground which is even worse. And when rain comes it is even worst.

It surely can be managed I guess. We are living in a time of smart city and we can’t even control the drains. What are we going to do with internet services if our nullahs aren’t working properly? I worry about my children. They’ve built the Barapullah flyover in that area. They’ve planted some trees. But after that they’ve just ignored it.

It’s an historic area—there’s Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah, Humayun’s tomb and many other heritage sites. They are working towards restoring these monuments, but what about the residents living here? They are taking care of the monuments but not of the people living there. And it will eventually affect the monuments as well.

Authorities need to wake up. We are asking for something basic. Something which is otherwise lethal for our health to be checked. And should not have taken the authorities so many years. There’s no excuse for it. We are hoping the authorities will act.

By Preeti Verma, Resident of G-Block, Nizamuddin West

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