Dilip Kumar a resident of Sangam Vihar’s Block-16 was surprised at the sight of a government water tanker near his colony for the first time on Sunday morning. Only a day after the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government took oath, the Asia’s largest unauthorised colony facing acute water shortage for decades finally received free water.
"There is a shortage of water in the entire colony but as the number of blocks increases, the problem increases too. We get private water tankers once every two weeks but it charges as much as Rs. 2,500 an hour for one family. We voted for AAP hoping that the party will help improve our living conditions but we did not expect such prompt results,” said an excited Kumar.
Residents in the area rushed towards the water tankers with drums, buckets and pots to fill as much water as possible, fearing that one tanker will not be enough to serve the need of the entire colony. However after the first tanker, around three others were brought in to supply water in the colony till 8am.
“I did not want to let go of this opportunity. This should be enough to meet our needs for at least the next one week. The amount we have saved on buying water today will be a huge help to serve other household needs,” said Shanta Kumari, a resident of block-12, who was seen carrying two drums of water with the help of her daughter.
People said in many blocks water pipelines have not been laid. Some residents have pooled in money to lay temporary pipelines which are used to draw water from private tankers.
The worst affected blocks in the area are blocks-12, 16, 20, 14 and 28. Even in these blocks as the distance from the main market road the problem aggravates.
In other parts of the capital like Mehrauli, Gokalpur and Seelampur also, the government water tankers were seen doing the rounds.
In Sanjay Colony-an unauthorized colony in Gokalpur-the drains were cleaned early in the morning which is a rare sight in the colony. In fact many people said that apart from the main road the lanes have to be swept by the residents themselves but on Sunday government trucks came in to scoop away the garbage and the lanes were sparkling.