Fix needed for water, encroachment issues
Dilshad Garden lies close to the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh Border, on the busy GT Roads.
A Metro station makes easy connectivity possible to all areas of the Capital. People who were allotted flats by the Delhi Development Authority in the early ‘80s recount how, in the past 35 years, this place has changed beyond recognition. The layout plan of Dilshad Garden then was impressive and the residential and commercial establishments were well-defined.
Parks, green surroundings and civic amenities were given due importance at the planning stage. However, “like many other places in the capital there was massive encroachment i n Dilshad Garden and residents i n many residential areas encroached upon every inch of open space around their apartments. Surprisingly, the residents allege that when the janta flats were launched, these just had one room, but have now been ‘expanded’ by the owners to four-bedroom units, with both the front and back covered,” says the owner of a janta category apartment.
According t o residents, the rampant encroachment has meant a sharp rise in the local population, putting huge pressure on civic amenities and infrastructure. “Today, a 2BHK flat, which was meant for a small family, accommodates seven to eight members. Residents are helpless because the families have grown bigger and there is no place for the newer members. Property prices have gone up so much that people can’t afford to buy new apartments,” says a resident.
Overcrowding is just one of the problems. In some blocks, the locals allege, the water supplied is contaminated by sewage water. “We do get fairly regular water and power supply, but we don’t know what we should do about the contaminated water supply. The Jal Board hasn’t been able to find a solution. This is due to damaged water supply pipelines. Sewage pipes and water pipes, some of them more than 30 years old, are running parallel underground,” says Tulsi Devi, a resident of C block.
R a j Ku m a r A g g a r w a l , a former general secretary of pocket A, says: “The water supply is contaminated because of waterlogging, especially in low lying areas during the rainy season. Dirty water mixes with drinking water through damaged water pipes. Residents have complained to the Jal Board but nothing has happened yet.”
The area has been divided in to five blocks – A, B, C, H and R and 11 pockets such as A, B, D, E, F, J, K, L, O, P, Q and R. Out of them, C and R are believed to be the better blocks because of their location and layout plans.
A lot of good hospitals such as Swami Dayanand, Delhi State Cancer Institute, Guru Te g Bahadur, I nstitute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences etc are located close by.
However, a lot of residents also complain that the traffic to and from these hospitals often cause traffic jams. Many of them suggest creating special ly designated parking space for the vehicles. Also, the traffic police should also ensure that vehicles are not parked randomly near the hospitals.
Residents of pocket A also complain about a garbage dump near the main gate. According to them, the municipal authority doesn’t clean it regularly and garbage spills out on to the road. “Sometimes, it stinks so much that it becomes difficult to walk around the area. It is a nightmare for people who stay closeby,” says Aggarwal.
“We have written to the local municipal authorities but they haven’t responded. Some of the residents have even gone to court but the issue is yet to be addressed. Residents simply don’t understand why a dump exists here, especially when the municipal authority collects garbage from every household in garbage collection vans. What’s the point in having a garbage dumpyard in such a prominent location in the colony? We have requested the authorities for help in removing it,” he adds.