Greater Kailash-I residents who live right next to the storm water drain, which has sewage being dumped in it, have a rather unusual complaint. They claim the stinking gas emanating from the dark, muddy sewage destroys their air conditioners and refrigerators.
“We have had to replace our air conditioners. Technicians from the manufacturing companies have said the odorous, polluted gas from the sewage affects the power-heating functions of the ACs and damages the compressor,” said V.P. Tandon, a resident of B block, which is parallel to the stinking drain.
A host of residents claimed their window ACs, which hang outside the house, malfunction because of the heavy stench from the sewage.
“The stench is methane that reacts with gas that is present in air-conditioners and conks them off,” said Manisha Vohra, a housewife.
Experts said residents’ complaints as “strange” and “unheard of”. “Sewage emanates gases, which can be harmful for health.
But I don’t see why they would react with gas in air conditioners unless there is a leak in the ACs,” said Monika Datta, reader of Chemistry at Delhi University.
“It is possible that polluted air can come in the way of smooth functioning of such units and cause the malfunction,” said V.K. Dutt, chief engineer of Northern Railways in Electricals department.
Residents also claimed sewage flowing in the stormwater drain has unleashed a lot of health problems. “The mosquitoes are unbearable. Flies and other insects can give us typhoid, hepatitis and host of diseases,” said Ashok Sethi, resident and lawyer who argued the case in the High Court.
“There is an official tubewell right next to the drain. It fills tankers and supplies to homes. I shudder to think the quality of that water,” said Mahesh Sahai, an exporter.
On Tuesday, the Delhi High Court held the Delhi Jal Board in contempt for not stopping sewage flow into the storm water drain. As per Supreme Court directives, and the Board’s own undertaking, no untreated sewage should flow into the Yamuna.