A sprawling campus in central Delhi, one of the few upscale localities available in Delhi NCR, is reserved for the accommodation of 400 nursing officers who are employed at different hospitals run by the Centre. The campus has everything you expect from a high-standard society. But, there is an irony. The nurses are living next to a bed of disease where an outbreak of vector- borne illnesses lurks. Heaps of garbage weighing tons are being thrown in an open land meters away from the residential area.
The Central government’s nurse’s residential complex in Sriniwaspuri is in a pathetic situation. “For the last 10 years, garbage of our society is collected at this point outside the society for the MCD to pick it up. But since March, the bins were removed and a vacant land area inside our society became the spot for dumping garbage,” said Syam SC, general secretary, Central Govt Hospital Nursing Complex Allotees Welfare Society. He reiterated that the matter was raised with all levels of authorities but to no avail.
“Now the waste has accumulated to form a garbage mountain – a big source of vector-borne diseases. Many of our allottees are contracting diseases like dengue and malaria. We have given representation to CPWD, Estate Officer, MCD, counsellor, MLA, minister, but still, there is no solution. We are living in a very unhygienic situation and health workers may be admitted to their own hospital soon if the situation continues,” Syam said.
Visakh V, vice president of the society’s resident welfare panel said that it’s ironic that the healthcare workers who work to abate the public health crisis are living under the threat of a severe health condition. “Here entire complex maintenance is looked after by CPWD, but here living conditions are not healthy. The household wastes are dumped on our premises itself for more than 3 months.
We condemned the act of higher authorities to not initiating any action towards this,” he said. “Who will take the responsibility if an outbreak happens? Who will take care of the caregivers then,” Visakh asked. Sharing details on what led to the situation, the committee said that locals objected to waste being dumped in bins placed outside the society. This forced CPWD workers to shift garbage to inside the society. With no alternative, the workers began collecting garbage inside the complex.
T garbage disposal system inside the residential quarters of 400-odd nurses working with Centre-run hospitals in Sriniwaspuri is in a shoddy condition, says Arun G S, president, Central Government Hospital Nursing Complex Allotees Welfare Society.
Excerpts from an interview:
What major issues are the residents facing?
The two major issues plaguing the residents from the beginning , which are still unresolved, are the lack of DJB drinking water supply and a single-point BSES electricity meter for individual quarters. While the CPWD began looking after this complex in 2019, it is not maintaining the current guidelines for upgradation in this complex. Here we are having underground water and the TDS of water is very high at above 800 which is not recommended for drinking purposes and causes hair fall, skin diseases, and so
What are the imminent problems you have faced?
Earlier, we had been dumping our household waste in front of the complex where the MCD’s big waste bins are provided. But, now the people living across the road (slums) has taken offense to this, leaving the CPWD to move the dumping spot inside the complex. Since 3-4 months all household wastes are dumped inside the complex which has led to the spread of vector-borne diseases.
Are there any other issues you would like to flag?
We have 413 quarters in the complex and most of these units have seepage problems. No upgradation had been done since 2006. Only some units were maintained as per CPWD norms. GI and CI pipes are badly rusted and leaking. The other issue is that the horticulture department is not fully functional in our complex. Further, we lack facilities for indoor games which is highly needed for a healthy lifestyle.