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Faizan Haider, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, October 25, 2013
If you see a pile of garbage every 100 metres, you would know you are in Seelampur. Lack of sanitation ensures that this neglected area in northeast Delhi is fast becoming a breeding ground for life-threatening dieases. Residents say the civic agency hardly ever clears away the garbage. The situation worsens when it rains and garbage spills over to the road. "Getting to the main mosque in the area is painful as right across the road, there is a pile of garbage. It is cleared just twice in a month. The entire area stinks, making it unbearable for us to walk," said Yaseen Khan, a resident of Seelampur.

Many shopkeepers of the area said they had to close their shops early as mosquitoes make it impossible for people to sit. "Customers do not come and even we cannot sit for long due to the mosquitoes. The nearby garbage station has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes," said Ayub Khan, a resident.

An empty plot in front of the main mosque has become a garbage station. Most locals dump garbage there. Residents of a nearby residential colony have made several complaints to the civic agency about it, but to no avail.

"The stench is unbearable. Despite several complaints, no one has ever turned up to clear the garbage. We have no option but to live in such inhuman conditions," said Rifaqat Ali, whose house is right in front of the garbage station.

Majority of the population in the constituency, which includes Mauj Pur, Jaffrabad, Gautampuri, New Seelampur, Shastri Park and Welcome, are Muslims. Most of them live in colonies that came up illegally and are blue-collar workers.

Many residents allege that contaminated water is supplied to schools in the area, due to which their children often fall ill. "The water tanks in most of the schools are broken and children do not get proper drinking water," said Mohammad Hilal, a resident of Welcome.

When asked, MLA Mateen Shmad claimed that whenever he gets any complaint, he makes sure the issue is sorted out. "Sanitiation does not fall in my jurisdiction but I still make efforts by writing to civic body. I got several damaged water tanks in schools repaired after people complained to me. In a few schools, I have even got RO systems installed," he said.