It is a case of too little, too late. For five years, residents of Dwarka have lived with stinking heaps of garbage lying on roadsides and under flyovers, waiting for authorities to take notice.
It is, however, only now — a time when the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections are just a month away — that sanitation workers have begun sweeping the roads meticulously for hours. But Dwarka residents are not amused.
“These are just gimmicks to get our votes. Where were these sanitation workers in the last five years, when we had been trying to draw the councillors’ attention to the lack of sanitation in our area? We are not fools,” said Vijay Kumar, a resident of Brahma Apartments, sector 7. The apartment complexes in Dwarka, Asia’s biggest residential area, got occupants only in late 2005, when the Metro connected the area to the rest of Delhi. It is since then that the poor garbage collection and lack of sanitation has been irking residents. Citizen campaigns, petitions and meetings with the mayor have failed to bring about a change. Even now, when sanitation work is at its peak, it is not too hard to find mounds of garbage."MCD is in-charge of sanitation and roads in Dwarka, and councillors have failed us on both counts. While arterial roads in the sub-city are good, the situation turns out as soon as you enter the bylanes. Service lanes are especially bad," said Pranav Varka, a retired central government employee who lives in sector 9. It is not just the garbage, however, that has made life tough for Dwarka residents. With most street lights defunct, going out of the house post sundown is problematic and unsafe.
“There are very few functional street lights in Dwarka. This is why street crime, especially instances of snatching, is very high. Some stretches have lamp posts but no lamps,” said Anand Krishanan, a resident of sector 10. According to residents, they have completely been ignored by councillors. “When it comes to voting we will not go by party affiliation, but merit. Whoever promises to resolve the problem of sanitation, law and order and water will get our vote,” said Rejimon CK, president, Dwarka Forum.