Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Fed up with unhygienic conditions caused by the Titarpur drain running through his colony Raghubir Nagar in West Delhi, a local resident took it upon himself to find out why the authorities have failed to cover the drain that is full of garbage and causes reverse flow of sewer into many adjoining households.

What prompted D.K. Sharma to take up the matter with the authorities was the disturbing fact that the drain with all the garbage dumped into it has also become a big sludge and very often women, children and even animals fall into it and die as they get trapped.

“On December 18, a woman who lived right next to the drain in jhuggi No. 14/15 in N-Block of Raghubir Nagar fell into the drain and died. Her life would have been saved had the drain been covered,” he laments.

Heavily populated

What compounds matters is that on both sides of the drain are heavily populated areas of Blocks B-1, B-2, L, M and N of Raghubir Nagar. “It is this stretch which needs to be covered promptly to prevent human tragedies,” he says.

According to a board installed near Holy Child School Chowk, work on reconstruction and covering of the drain should have started in July last year. But in reality nothing has changed in these past seven months.

“I filed an appeal under the Right to Information Act with the Municipal Corporation of Delhi in November 2009 to enquire if they had any plans for covering the drain or if any money had been spent on it. They replied on December 29 that Rs.4.99 lakh has already been spent on covering a part of it. Where has that money gone?” asks Mr. Sharma. Moreover, he adds, the Corporation has denied that it has plans to cover the drain along its complete length. “Only a part of the drain up to Holy Child School is covered and beyond that over a kilometre of the drain, which is five feet wide and six feet deep, runs uncovered. Urgent action is needed,” he adds.