Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Cleaning of drains: How to muck it up

Given that rainy season is likely to start in Delhi & NCR anytime, it is pretty essential to make sure that drains are de-silted and able to handle as much rain water as possible. But this is something that seems impossible for the municipal authorities to handle.
This year, yet again, due to their ineptitude, there are many many drains where de-silting has not happened and where water will start collecting. In fact, with the few rains that have happened, water collection has already been seen. One fears as to what would happen if it rains for more than a couple of hours.
Now as to what I wanted to mention. I have observed drains being cleaned of the rubbish, and other things that our responsible citizens keep on dropping in the drains. So what happens ? Well, there are these machines that they use for de-silting and which remove a fair amount of dirty looking and foul smelling rubbish from the drains. And what did they do with this rubbish? You would not believe it. They just left it by the side of the road, no doubt to be picked up when some rubbish collection service could be called (why this can't be synchronized is beyond me). And what were the effects of this open dumping of rubbish ?
Well, let me just list them out:
1. The road immediately shrunk in width since half the road was now covered in rubbish
2. There was a foul smell in the whole area for days afterwards.
3. Pedestrians found it difficult to walk, because of the stench, and because the rubbish was accompanied by equally bad drain water and the road was covered with slush
4. It rained a day after, and you can imagine as to how much of the rubbish that was removed went back inside.
And mind, these were drains that were cleaned. If you go to places in older parts of Delhi or crowded places such as Laxmi Nagar, you will see the small drains in front of houses that were supposed to have free flowing sewage, instead the whole drain has stagnant water and could be a ripe breeding ground for diseases and the like.
Fellow citizens, how many of you have seen such things and think that things can be improved?

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posted by Ashish Agarwal @ 9:47 AM