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‘My car is of no use’

The Gupta family has been living in Model Town since the colony came into existence.

delhi Updated: Feb 01, 2011 00:40 IST

The Gupta family has been living in Model Town since the colony came into existence.

But the situation is deteriorating gradually, said Manoj Gupta. He said he had to change several parts of his car within a year of buying it as parts had "corroded after coming in contact with polluted water".

"A slight rise in the water level and the polluted water overflows on the road. As my car is parked on the road, it was in constant contact with the dirty water. As a result, the lower part of my car rusted very fast and my car developed many problems within days of purchasing it. I have spent thousands of rupees in repairing my car," said Gupta.

He added that authorities have been sitting on the complaint for many years now.

"We contacted the area councillor, MCD officials and even the ministers in the Delhi government. All they have done is slip-shod work by covering these drains with iron grills," said Gupta.

He added that though he has not used his car much, it has got no resale value now.

"During monsoons we stop taking this road and I do not bring my car here. As I have my shop here I cannot afford not to come here. But I make it a point not to bring my vehicle during rains," said Gupta.

Gupta's father, who earlier used to head the Residents Welfare Association (RWA) of Model Town, had also made several representations to the authorities but all the requests have fallen on deaf ears.

‘No cosmetic changes’

For Vedprakash Gotewala, retaining his customers is a big concern. Not that a rival shop is giving heavy discounts, it's the stinking water that accumulates in front of his shop that is keeping customers away.

To tackle the problem, Gotewala has kept an iron board that is used as a plank to enter his shop without getting their feet wet.

"We just hosted the Commonwealth Games and the Chatrasal Stadium, one of the main venues, is just a few metres away. Still, our area has seen the grossest neglect in the past several years at the hands of the civic agencies. The political leaders come only at the time of elections making false promises," said Gotewala.

For the saree showroom owner it is a matter of sustenance. "Though I have a regular clientele, I have to think about expansion too. No one wants to come to this markets as the moment you enter a strong stench that overpowers you. Customers prefer to go to swanky malls and shops there instead of coming here," said Gotewala. He added that even his car was damaged because of the polluted water.

The businessman has been protesting lack of civic amenities in the colony for several years now.

"We raised our voice when the drain was being built. No one listened to us then. Now several types of problems are cropping up," he said. He said the area needed more than cosmetic changes and the entire drainage system should be scrapped as the residents have nothing to do with it.