2 drown in pit: Residents accuse Noida authority of negligence
Noida As two out of four men who had entered a reservoir (sump well) in Sector 6 to fetch a cricket ball died after allegedly inhaling “poisonous gases” inside it, the Noida authority on Sunday faced flak from the residents for not treating the sewer properly. The sump well was constructed to store rainwater in the low-lying area to tackle waterlogging.
Four men — the deceased, Sandeep (22) and Vishal Srivastava (27), and the injured, Rakesh and Mohammad Ansari — had entered the sump well, police said.
“All sump wells in the city are meant to carry rainwater and should be kept clean. No water should remain stored in it, except for the rainy season i.e. three months a year. How can there be sewer in sump wells or drains? This means, sewage is not treated properly before dumping it into water channels — violating the National Green Tribunal (NGT) orders. A probe should be initiated in the matter and action should be taken against the violators,” said Amit Gupta, member of Progressive Community Foundation (PCF), a social group of the residents.
In an order issued on February 25, 2020, the NGT had directed the Noida authority “not to discharge untreated sewage into drains as it pollutes rivers too”. All the drains in Noida are either emptied into the Yamuna or the Hindon.
“Dumping untreated sewage into drains means you are defeating the ‘Clean Ganga’ mission as the Yamuna merges with the Ganga. The Noida authority should work seriously to make sure that not even a drop of untreated sewage goes into city drains,” said Vikrant Tongad, an environmentalist from Noida.
The Noida authority, which has the onus of treating sewer in the city, meanwhile, said that the victims did not pay heed to warnings of a supervisor who was present at the sump well site. “Our guard had tried to stop the men from entering the boundary wall of the pit, but they entered there forcefully. The guard called the police and tried to save the victims...,” said Ritu Maheshwari, chief executive officer (CEO), Noida authority.
On the poor condition of the sump well, Maheshwari said, “We will look into the matter, and conduct a probe if required. Action will be taken.”