Sonu Ram, 26, a resident of Rajokri Pahadi BSF Camp, suffered from severe diarrohea and vomiting after allegedly drinking contaminated water. He was admitted to a private hospital for five days and was discharged on Wednesday.
Showing his swollen hands due to needles for IV drips, Ram said: "I lost 10 kgs in about five days. I was administered over 25 bottles of glucose … I am just glad I am alive."
But unlike him, Chhote Lal, another resident of the area, was not so lucky. Chhote Lal died the same morning within days of drinking contaminated water.
Scores of people have been taken ill due to contaminated water in Rajokri in southwest Delhi. Over 70 residents are seeking treatment at various private clinics and also at Safdarjung Hospital since last week. There are about 500-odd houses in the area.
"The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) sent tankers for the first time yesterday. We cannot afford mineral water, (so) we are boiling tanker water for drinking," said a resident Balveer Sharma, whose son Lalit Kumar (22) is suffering from diarrohea and is constantly vomiting.
After Lal's death, DJB collected water samples from the area. "The water was found to be potable and safe for human consumption," claimed Sanjam Chima, DJB's Consultant (PR). Water samples from the tubewells, tested on Thursday, too are of good quality, she added.
But residents said the real issue is not addressed.
"The main water pipeline has several leaks which is leading to contamination. The tubewell, too, is partially open and dirty water and sewage flows into the main supply. The authorities are cleaning the tubewells but there is no word about changing the almost 40-year-old pipelines," said Dharam Pal, another resident.
South Delhi Municipal Corporation Mayor Sarita Chaudhary, who visited the colony on Thursday, said, "Despite various complaints by the residents, no action has been taken by the DJB. This shows the government is not concerned about development work in villages."
Meanwhile, medical teams from South Corporation and Directorate of Health Services of the Delhi government set up a camp in the area for affected residents and provided medicines.