Monday, November 2, 2015

Delhi Rains: People suffer, while Government says it is working on a long term plan to tackle water logging

Delhi witnessed a modest rainfall, but people living in the slums and villages had to suffer heavy water logging. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that this year there has been less water logging compared to previous year. Yet the situation in various areas in the outskirts of Delhi was no better. There has been little improvement if any and even the ‘people’s’ government seems to ignore the consequences of diseases relating to water logging.

Ruma, who runs her family of 5 people by doing various household work in South Delhi’s Sultanpur area said that her work has been affected by the incessant rain and consequential water logging near her home. “Because of the water logging, I have not been able to go to few of the houses where I work as a cook. This will have a direct effect on my monthly income. We are also afraid of water-borne diseases which may affect young children in the home.” she said.

Unlike Mumbai, Delhi doesn’t face a huge problem during the monsoon. But in Delhi, it is majorly the lower class income group which faces the problem. The well-off areas like the Green Park, Golf Course, Greater Kailash, Defence Colony and others, have excellent drainage system. On the contrary the various villages in the National Capital region, have in adequate drainage system struggling to deal with the problems of thousands of people being directly affected. There was a ray of hope when CM Arvind Kejriwal asked people in his government to work on a long term plan to deal with problems relating to water logging.

“It has been years since I have been witnessing this water logging. The major problem it brings is the mosquitoes and subsequent diseases like dengue. Every year we hear so many deaths in Delhi because of Dengue. I hope the new government is able to tackle this problem.” said Tarun, owner of a grocery store in Sultanpur area of Delhi.

On the other hand the tussle between Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and Delhi government once again showed us the politics of playing the blame game. The BJP ruled MCD has been blaming AAP government for not doing the work properly and thus leading to water logging at several places in Delhi. On the contrary, AAP has been blaming MCD for not doing the same work. Because of this, the powerless and poor people, living in the low-lying areas are facing the problem. As far as the bureaucracy is concerned there seems to be only one solution to the misery- end of monsoon!

Delhi, being the national capital needs to provide better infrastructure. Water logging effects economy of the state directly. Diseases spread to affluent areas as well. Governments have been promising a better infrastructure for years. The present AAP government has also promised to create a long term plan. We hope the long term plan doesn’t mean it will be put in place in some long term but will begin soon. People deserve better from their governments.

This article was first published on LokMarg on July 16, 2015

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