Among the many dreams that Delhiites have, the one dream they have most frequently is about clean roads, garbage-free neighbourhood and stench-free surroundings.
The people of Delhi had never seen sanitation facilities as efficient as they were during the Commonwealth Games. And they made the unforgivable mistake of expecting that the top-class sanitation quality was here to stay. As soon as the Games ended, that sanitation bubble burst, spewing garbage, sewage and stench everywhere.
“The fact that the city was kept clean during the Games period means it is possible to maintain the same high standards of sanitation. But now that the Games are over, no one is interested. Sanitation workers have again stopped coming. The situation is still tolerable because of the festival period, but as soon as that gets over things will become uglier,” says Aneesh Vaid, a resident of Krishna Nagar in East Delhi.
On the sanitation front, the civic agency has been faltering on many accounts. While the much-hyped door-to-door garbage collection scheme is yet to be extended to all the 12 zones of MCD, the mechanical sweepers that can clean the roads at a much faster rate are yet to be procured.
The MCD’s tall claims to have a dhalao-free Delhi is also yet to be realised. Under the plan, rather than having the residents collect the garbage and dispose it in the dhalao (garbage stations), a private contractor was to be hired to directly lift the garbage from each households and transport it to the sanitary landfill sites. In the past few years, all that the civic agency has managed is to start the scheme in just two zones — Rohini and Civil Lines.
“The MCD needs to get its act together. There are teething problems even in those areas where it has switched to the new system of garbage disposal. Waste segregation is also not being done properly,” says Anuj Malik, a resident of Kalkaji.
But the civic agency is still busy making the same old promises. “By January we will extend this scheme to a number of other colonies. It takes time to implement a new scheme but now everything has been sorted,” said a senior MCD official.
With no maintenance in place, hundreds of dustbins that were placed during the Games period have slowly started getting vandalised and stolen. Fogging, too, which used to be carried out round-the-clock has stopped.
“It all seemed too good to be true. Things are back to normal with the civic agencies being the least bothered about the people,” said Ujjwal Chaba, a Kailash Colony resident.