When four-year-old Sanjana from NCERT Colony died after allegedly drinking contaminated water earlier this week, it was sort of déjà vu for one Abdul Qadir, a resident of neighbouring Hauz Rani area.
Nine years ago, Qadir had lost his 14-year-old son in a similar manner; the teen had consumed contaminated water.
"The doctor said he suffered due to infections caused by drinking contaminated water, possibly due to mixing of sewage," said Qadir, who has been staying in the locality for the past two decades.
Between 2004 and 2013, things have hardly changed for Hauz Rani urbanized village near Malviya Nagar. It has been facing problems related to contaminated water for almost a decade now. The residents claimed they suffer from health issues frequently which often needs hospitalisation.
Another resident Abdul Mujeeb was discharged three days ago after hospitalisation for a week due to stomach infection. "The doctor said the infection was because of drinking dirty water. I was admitted to a private hospital, which burnt a hole in my pocket. We cannot afford such expensive treatment," he said.
Another case is that of Zakir Hussain's mother, who was admitted in a hospital for gastroenteritis. "Doctors told us to boil the water before drinking. But I do not think even boiling this dirty water will make it safe for drinking," he said. Zakir's mother was discharged on Thursday.
Pointing out that sewage water was mixing with the drinking water pipeline, giving birth to various health problems, the Hauz Rani Resident Welfare Association (RWA) had written to chief minister Sheila Dikshit and also the Delhi Jal Board (DJB).
Daud Khan, RWA president of the colony, said the authorities, instead of trying to address their problems, were playing the blame game when it comes to the repair of the water pipeline. "The water pipeline is going through the sewer main holes. So it is important to get the line replaced."