Piped water supply still a pipe dream for Jamia Nagar residents
Residents of Okhla, including Abul Fazal Enclave and Shaheen Bagh, don’t have access to safe piped drinking water this despite the fact that the locality has a water treatment plant that everyday supplies some 12 million gallons of water to residential areas of Kalkaji, CR Park Masjid Moth, Eats of Kailash and Okhla Industrial Area.
As it is an unauthorised area, there is no provision for water supply, argue many.
With the city government sitting idle, the locals quench their thirst by purchasing water. Many prefer buying water that is sold by rickshaw pullers. And well-off residents have water purifiers in their houses and flats.
Selling water is a profitable business with many small water treatment plants mushrooming in the area. Md. Quasim, a rickshaw puller who supplies water, said: “We get 20 liters of water for Rs 15.” When asked about the quality of the water, he said: “We don’t know anything about it. What we know is that the owners use RO system to purify ground water.”
Once RO supplier said: “We don’t compromise with the quality of water. The filters are changed after every three months and membrane is washed properly after every ten days so that machine can work properly.”
He said: “The total dissolved salt (TDS) present in groundwater is high. The RO machine brings this level down which comes under the prescribed limits.”
In Shaheen Bagh, the water is toxic as the TDS content is 3,000. Many people have fixed water purifiers in their houses. A resident Kashif Khan said: “The water is so bad over here that I have to go for RO unit. It is quite effective although it requires cleaning of membrane every now and then.”
Some doctors said ground water is highly toxic and should not be used. Dr Zeya Haque said: “The groundwater of Okhla has all the three contaminants physical, chemical and biological. Water-borne diseases can be caused by protozoa, viruses or bacteria all of them are intestinal parasites. Anaemia, cholera, ascariasis, dengue, diarrhoea, dracunculiasis, flurosis, hepatitis, hookworm infection lead poisoning, lymphatic filariais, typhoid, trachoma, ringworm & many more are water borne diseases. The residents should drink water purified by RO units which are now readily available in the market.”
The only solution to the water problem in the locality is water pipelines. With the colony being unauthorised it appears to be a difficult thing for now.
Residents said leaders have been parroting one thing that the pipeline project is under its way but that has not happened yet.