It was meant to be the solution to a problem.
However, an under-construction cover for a drain in Defence Colony has created more hassles for the area.
Residents fear that concretising the floor of the drain — to support pillars for covering it with a tabletop structure — will lead to depletion of the ground water table of the area.
Another problem is that of garbage, especially polythene bags that remain stuck due to the number of pillars.
The residents’ welfare association (RWA) had demanded covering the drain to beat the unbearable stench emanating from the filth-covered drain.
Work to cover the 1.4 km length of the drain is being carried out by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) at a cost of R56 crore under the Member of Parliament’s Local Area Development fund.
Rajeev Gujaral, RWA president, admitted there are several concerns.
“Unlike earlier, when there was just a small culet (narrow water channel), the drain is wide now. There is very little water except for a few monsoon weeks. So, the width will increase the drainage area.”
He added, “After we raised the issue during a meeting earlier this week, the DDA has promised to build a culet.”
On apprehension about groundwater depletion, Nemo Dhar, DDA spokesperson said, “There would be rainwater harvesting structures along the nullah’s length. This should increase the groundwater level.”
Himanshu Malhotra, environmental filmmaker and a resident said, “Already, the entire colony, including the pavements, is covered with concrete. The DDA has no convincing reason for putting up so many pillars.”
Dhar, however, said, “The soil structure on the nullah bed is such that a large number of pillars are required to support the tabletop above.”
Despite all this, nobody knows when the stink will go.