Muddy waters playing in Indira Vihar
Residents of this North Delhi colony—a hubbub of students from nearby DU campus—have been using this foul water for the last 8-10 days. Those who can afford to, and many who cannot, have had no recourse but to switch to bottled mineral water, reports Meher Ali.delhi Updated: Sep 19, 2009 22:20 IST
Seventy-year-old Ram Lal Khathuria holds up two glasses of water against the sunlight—one is murky and dirty yellow while the other clear.
The dirty water gives off a sewage-like foul smell and is heavier than regular water.
The clear water is from a packaged source. The yellow liquid is what Indira Vihar's residents get from their taps.
Residents of this North Delhi colony—a hubbub of students from nearby DU campus—have been using this foul water for the last 8-10 days. Those who can afford to, and many who cannot, have had no recourse but to switch to bottled mineral water.
“We have to get 20 litres bottles of mineral water that cost Rs 40 each. How can we survive like this?" said Darshan Lal Kakkar.
Residents claim the water is not only foul to drink but cannot even be used to bathe in or wash clothes with.
"I've been cooking with Bisleri water," said 40 year old Veena Katyal. "Both my children recently went to the doctor. They had stomach infection. My son is suffering from skin allergies, because he bathed in this water."
But what is the possible reason behind the contaminated supply?
Residents said if the Delhi Jal Board is to be believed, the problem in supply is because of the Wazirabad Water Treatment Plant (WTP)— that supplies treated water from the Yamuna to Indira Vihar— being shut down last week because of flooding in the Yamuna.
This is what DJB told residents when they filed a complaint against this problem. According to DJB officials, flooding led to waste from nearby drains spilling into the river. Since the WTP was shut down, this water remained untreated.
When a resident, who did not want to be identified, contacted the DJB, they suggested she add chlorine in water. “I put as much as five chlorine tablets and disinfectant in a bucket of water but there was no improvement in quality,” she said.
“The Delhi Jal Board is aware of the problem and is taking action,” said Sanjam Chima, public relations officer DJB.
"Our workers are locating the breach in the water line, because of which the contamination has happened.”
However, the neighbourhood has reported a water problem for the past two-three months. Water supply is irregular and pressure low, said residents.
"We have to put on the motor even if we just want to wash our hands," said an elderly resident.