Millennium City’s corporate houses might be making giant strides in the world of business but their employees step about rather tentatively. For, not only Gurgaon’s roads but also its buildings and grounds are now mined with filth and overflowing sewage.
Sector 34 is a stinking example of the problem. Lying just off NH-8, the sector is home to giants like Hero Honda and Aegis BPO. Since many expat clients visit the area everyday, one expects it to be maintained as a showcase of 21st Century India. But as the accompanying picture shows, this is certainly not the case.
The problem goes beyond the stink from the discharge and the disgust that it arouses. People are falling ill due to water- and vector-borne diseases.
In the last few months, at least 82 staffers of Orient Craft have fallen ill with diseases like jaundice, said Dr Raj Dravid, Group President (Corporate HR & Training) of the company. “Production head Vikas Anand and General Manager Ashok Sharma are among those who reported ill,” said Dravid.
The attendance at Aegis BPO, where sewerage has entered the company premises, is also affected. Such is the condition of the city’s sewerage that one of Aegis’ cab drivers fell into an open manhole recently.
Dravid is also concerned about the contamination of ground water with overflowing sewage, as the company draws its potable water from the ground. “The area’s image has taken a beating. Our foreign clients are shocked to see sewage all around,” he said.
Gurgaon’s sewage has no proper outlet. Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) is still struggling to complete the laying of trunk sewerage and drainage lines in Gurgaon. The work is getting delayed as Khandsa village is yet to commit land for the passage of the sewerage line.
Elsewhere, work on the city’s Master Sewerage Trunk Line is held up at a site near Signature Tower due to a court stay.
President of Gurgaon Industrial Association (GIA), VP Baja, said their representations to the local administration have fallen on deaf ears.
“Recently, we apprised Deputy Commissioner Deepti Umashankar of the sewage problem near the Hero Honda factory but she merely assured us of some action,” said Baja.
HUDA officials, however, contend that the dirty water is not overflowing from the sewerage lines but from the choked storm water drainage, into which many units along NH-8 dump their sewage.
“Unfortunately, many units have linked their sewerage lines with the drainage system, which is already choked for want of an outlet. As a result, the sewage problem has now spread till the 42nd Milestone toll plaza on NH-8,” said HUDA superintending engineer Pankaj Kumra.