Fix needed for wa­ter, en­croach­ment issues

HT Estates - - HTESTATES - Suhasini Juyal

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.

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