Delhi

Overflowing sewage on National Highway-19 sparks safety concerns

The flooded road on Delhi-Agra highway near Seekri village.

The flooded road on Delhi-Agra highway near Seekri village.   | Photo Credit: Ashok Kumar

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Locals, commuters fume as complaints go unheard; authorities, Panchayat pass the buck

For more than six months, sewage from Seekri village has been overflowing onto the service road and a stretch of the Delhi-Agra highway, causing a major nuisance to locals and motorists.

The authorities and the Panchayat, however, shift the blame on the matter. The flooded road hampers the movement of the vehicles, put the pedestrians to inconvenience, emanates foul smell, and also causes water-borne diseases and accidents on the National Highway.

Running a kiosk off the highway for over a decade, Majlis from Nuh, said the sewage from the village earlier flowed down a drain. However, the trouble began six months back when the highway was widened to six-lanes and a service road was constructed over the drain, he said.

Though pipelines have been laid under the service road to allow the sewage to reach the storm water drain along the highway, but the pipelines and the drain get frequently choked due to indiscriminate dumping of the garbage, including plastic waste, in an open nallah along the highway.

The small drains from the village fall into this nallah, which in turn is connected to the storm water drain with the pipelines. The choked pipelines and storm water drain lead to overflow of the sewage to the service road and the Agra-Delhi carriageway of the highway.

Dotted with vendors, kiosks and tea stalls, the nallah, close to the local market, remains full with garbage. A waste dumping site has also come up near the nallah and the garbage often ends up in it.

Local resident Ranjit, who also runs a makeshift kiosk, said he had complained to Sarpanch on several occasions but was told that it was the responsibility of the highways authority. He said the highway authorities came to clear the water but not before it had entered their kiosks. The kiosk owners had put sandbags to prevent the water from entering their premises. Ranjit’s mother recalled that it was the worst near Rakshabandan festival and then Diwali, adding that the water was not cleared for the over a month this time around.

Breeding ground

The overflowed water has also affected his business, said Majlis. “Customers find it difficult to reach my shop due to water all around,” he said. Local villager Siddhu Khan said the stagnant sewage was a breeding ground for the mosquitoes and water-borne diseases. He suggested the nallah be covered and made pucca.

Prahlad, who runs an eggs-stall, said the water overflowing onto the highway led to frequent accidents. Not expecting sewage on the highway, the motorists, coming at a high speed, took sharp turn fearing potholes and met accidents. “A portion of the road is damaged due to constant water-logging and a truck overturned a month ago. The highway authorities then closed the right turn near the spot to the road passing through Seekri and connecting a dozen villages,” said Prahlad.

Auto-rickshaw driver Lal Singh said the road passing through Seekri connecting to other villages also remained waterlogged due to overflowing of sewage and crates had appeared on it. Sarpanch Anil Kumar alleged the drain to discharge the sewage was demolished by the agency that constructed the highway with a promise to make it again but did not do so. He said he was aware of the situation but the Panchayat did not have funds to make a drain. He said he had made requests to the Block Development and Panchayat Officer and NHAI officials in this regard.

Delhi Agra Toll Road official P.K. Singh said the water-logging was caused due to the choking of the pipelines and the storm water drain. Mr. Singh said the Municipal Corporation of Faridabad had made drains in many villages along the highway to discharge sewage, but Seekri was outside the municipal limits causing the problem. He added the road was also damaged due to constant water-logging. NHAI, project director, Badarpur, Mohammad Safi told The Hindu that a notice was served to the Panchayat a month back to regularly clean the nallah to prevent the choking of the pipelines and the storm water drain. He added that a proposal for a drain to carry the sewage of the village was being considered as a lasting solution.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 11:55:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/overflowing-sewage-on-national-highway-19-sparks-safety-concerns/article30489084.ece

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