NEW DELHI: Living in the narrow lanes of Bara Hindu Rao area in central Delhi comes with its own set of issues. However, at the centre of them all, the residents say, is a problem that fails to get the attention of the government that created it in the first place.
Mohammad Nazim, general secretary of Residents’ Welfare Association, Bara Hindu Rao, told this newspaper that the lanes of Gali Darziyan, were dug up by Delhi Jal Board about a month and halfback for installation of water pipelines but were never re-built even after he approached several government officers about the issue.
“I have requested MLA Imran Hussain and the Junior Engineer, NDMC multiple times to get the lanes rebuilt but there has been no progress. Their response remains unchanged. They keep saying ‘we will do it, we will soon get it done’ but nothing happens,” he said.
Nazim said that the municipal corporation was repairing the lanes when Jal Board took over the task of installing the pipeline. “The problem of water was solved but it gave birth to a new problem,” he said, adding that the “conflict” between Delhi government and MCDs has “hampered development”.
“The pipeline installation wasn’t completed either. Some roads remain broken...some stretches have no water pipeline,” he stressed.
For residents, who are grateful to the government for resolving the issue of water shortage, the crumbling lanes have now created health problems. “Children keep getting injured when they play in the streets as they keep falling but now it has become an everyday affair,” 29-year-old Shaarmi said, adding: “There has been a huge relief from the earlier shortage of water though but these roads should be repaired soon too.” Thirty-year-old Samreen hailed the government’s project to install the pipeline. “Earlier we had to walk long to get water.” However, she also added that her elderly father, who runs a shop in the area, found it difficult to walk to his workplace. “We have been inconvenienced for way too long. My father has a leg injury and struggles to walk through these broken streets,” she said. Samreen who has been a resident of the area for years, said that roads and streets used to be repaired frequently in the past but that was not the case anymore. “We have accepted the narrow lanes and other problems that come along with it but these dug up roads are a serious issue,” she said.
People in the area also complained about the streets not being cleaned regularly.
NDMC’s cleaner, however, said that the debris hindered them from sweeping. “I can clean the other streets of the area but is not possible to sweep these dug-up streets,” 18-year-old Shivam said.
Nafa Shariq, who lives in Nayi Basti, said negligence of roads caused hygiene-related issues. “The area gets flooded during rains. People chuck garbage on the streets. Nobody comes to clean it up. There is a fear of diseases always,” she stressed.
When the area MLA Imran Hussain’s office was contacted, an official said that the matter would be looked into. “It’s a small issue. We are certainly going to see to it and solve this problem,” he said.