During last monsoon, some residents of Model Town-III were forced to evacuate their houses. It wasn't the rain the residents feared but dirty water from the choked and overflowing drain that had started entering their houses.
"Water logging during the rains is a common problem across the Capital but in our area it is dangerous, too, as this water has toxic content. Many people in the colony suffer from health related problems," said Manoj Gupta, a stockbroker who lives in Model Town.
Set up in 1950, most houses in this colony have a market value of over a crore of rupees per house.
But residents in one of the most upmarket colonies in northwest Delhi are forced to live with stink and the perpetual threat of contracting some disease for the last 15 years.
An unwanted surface drain that flows underneath and along the colony a little ahead has proved to be a cause of worry to the residents all these years.
Colony residents claimed that repeated knocking at the doors of the authorities to get rid of it hasn't got them any result.
More commonly known as tezaabi naala (acidic drain) among the locals, the drain emits "dangerous fumes" and "pungent smell" — hazardous to the residents, many of whom complain of skin and health related problems.
The drain originates from the Wazirabad treatment plant and passes through it before emptying into an open area near the posh colony.
Sewage water from most colonies in the Capital is treated at the plant and flows through this drain in Model Town-III.
"We have been living under this hazardous condition for the past 15 years. The authorities decided that they would divert the polluted water of the plant through our residential colony," said Vedmohan Gotewala, a saree showroom owner who has been living there for the past 50 years.
"Knowing that it is a major health hazard, we had protested even then and continue to do so but no one seems to be bothered," he added.
Residents added that there are at least 12 drains in the area that have been covered by meshed iron grills.
"Most of these grills were laid down only a month ago. The continuous movement of vehicles over it have damaged some of them. If they are not replaced by something more durable then bigger mishaps can happen like cars falling into it," said Hari Prakash Gupta, one of the earliest occupants in the colony.
"This is one of the oldest colony in Delhi. It came up after Greater Kailash- I came into existence. Everything was fine till the then chief minister Madan Lal Khurana decided to divert the drain through the colony 15 years ago," said Gotewala.
Residents said the problem becomes all the more dangerous during monsoons.
"Though the Yamuna is nowhere close to our colony, some people had to evacuate their houses as the water from the drain had clogged the area," said Gupta.
Hari Prakash Gupta, a former RWA president of the colony and also one of the oldest residents, said, “People here dread monsoons. Apart from waterlogged roads it also means health risks. I know people who suffer from rashes and allergies due to this contaminated water. It is a serious problem and needs to be resolved.”