Residents of the posh Vasant Kunj area in south Delhi have stopped drawing water from taps. The reason: Cow dung from a local dairy is flowing out of these taps.
The air is thick with the stench of cow dung and sewage at pockets where the problem is acute. Black, viscous muck has filled up all water tanks over the past four days.
Residents have given baths a slip. They are cooking with bottled water and using the bare minimum (from private tankers) for their basic needs.
“We will sue the government for damages. Our tanks are filled with dung and our pipelines are as good as gone,” said Naresh Sharma, an RWA member of Pocket C-1.
“Private tankers are of no use.... There is only so much water you can store in buckets,” said housewife Savita Kumar.
Residents said a clogged drain at Masoodpur dairy behind their colony was the culprit. “The drain got clogged, and started overflowing to the parallel main water line,” said Manoj Gautam, a resident. HT visited the site on Wednesday to find areas around the drain, including ground-floors of houses immersed in muck.
The alarmed Delhi Jal Board (DJB) has disconnected the supply. “Around 10 blocks are affected,” said BM Dhaul, DJB’s chief engineer, South. “Since the colony is in a low-lying area, any blockage in the drain makes the dung overflow into the adjacent water line and contaminates the supply. We have taken up the matter with the DDA, which built the drain.”
By Wednesday evening, four days after the crisis surfaced, the DDA had started repairs. “We are laying a new drainage channel so that this is not repeated,” said a DDA official.