Hot weather makes Sangam Vihar's water woes worse

Hot weather makes Sangam Vihar's water woes worse

Residents blame borewell owners and tanker mafia, besides apathy by DJB and AAP government

In this harsh summer season, Delhi is staring at an imminent water crisis, with rising temperatures and plummeting groundwater levels creating problems for the city residents.

Several areas of South Delhi are currently suffering from acute water shortage, and its residents blame the borewell owners and tanker mafia, besides apathy by the Delhi Jal Board and the Aam Aadmi Party government.
On Saturday, Delhi saw rain and thunderstorm on many places. However, the city will see more sun than clouds in coming days, according to the MeT department.

Sangam Vihar, an unauthorised colony in South Delhi, almost saw a water riot last month. Locals had stormed Aam Aadmi Party MLA Dinesh Mohaniya’s office, broke furniture and vandalised everything they could lay their hands on. Mohaniya’s staff faced a tough time handling the frenzied crowd.

Government officials told Deccan Herald that there is a long-standing water supply problem in Sangam Vihar. Every year in May and June the water crisis in the area deepens.
Bhagwan Das, a resident and social worker says the situation has remained same for the last 25 years that he has lived in the area.

“We had community taps until 20 years back, and there used to constant jostling between men and women queued up for water,” he says.

“But now, the residents are at the mercy of people who have borewells,” he adds.
Residents of this neighbourhood say they pay the borewell owners Rs 750 every month.

“Cleaning, cooking, laundary – all is done with the borewell water. For drinking, we purchase 20 litre water bottles every day,” says Shabana Parveen, who works in a telecom company.

Water tankers reach the locality every few days but many residents say they keep away from them. “It becomes very scary at times,” says Rani, a homemaker, “People crowd around tankers. Sometimes there are fights and people get injured.”

Locals complain that their taps remain dry almost throughout the day. “I always try to finish my work early, just to fill buckets at home,” says Kumar Ankit, who works for a technology company.
Some even rue about the health hazards caused by erratic water supply.

“Every house has four to eight overhead tanks to store water which starts rotting after a point of time. That is why the problems like dengue and malaria are common here,” Ankit’s neighbour, Bikas Gupta, says.
Upfront with everyday water crisis, locals claim the local MLA remains beyond their reach.
“MLA Dinesh Mohaniya can only be met at his office in Saket. He is hardly seen in this area,” Rani says, claiming why the locals got agitated.
Water riots are not unique to this South Delhi locality.
Around the same time last month, a deepened water crisis had prompted women residents of East Delhi’s Trilokpuri area to make a human chain outside their local MLA Raju Dhingan office. 

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