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RM Reports

Open Letter to MCD

I write this not just for myself but on behalf of many concerned citizens of Delhi. It has been almost a year since the last MCD elections and we are deeply disappointed to see not much has changed for us as citizens of this city.

The problems of Delhi need no introduction. Much to our discomfiture, they have only been mounting on us for what seems to be an eternity. We have however been hopeful that someday our civic bodies will own up to their responsibility, and offer us some respite.

Despite tall electoral promises, nothing has been done for sewage treatment on your behalf. In fact, recently even the HC has had to state that the people of Delhi may have to move out to create room for untreated garbage.  You would obviously be in the knowing that 12 cases of Dengue have already been reported this year. Last year, at least 30 people had died due to this vector-borne disease. With the remarkably early onset of the disease now, the situation is already looking grim.

In the absence of sufficient solid-waste treatment plants, Delhi has been dependant on open landfills to dump our waste for far too long. It is an open secret that some of those dumping sites have reached, or are being used beyond their saturation point. For instance, the Gazipur landfill site in the jurisdiction of the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) had reached saturation in the year 2000 but continues to receive 1,600 metric tonnes of waste on a daily basis even 17 years after its scheduled closure. Considering the gases trapped at the site, it is a time bomb waiting to explode that may have cataclysmic repercussions for residents in its vicinity. It is therefore pertinent that new landfill sites be located and duly approved by the concerned authorities most urgently, in the best interest of the lives of residents in such areas.

We understand that the Delhi government and MCD have made some efforts to control dust and particulate matter in our air. Water spraying has been carried out at regular intervals in highly polluted areas like ITO and Anand Vihar ISBT. However, there can only be the perceivable impact when more such areas are covered as recommended by the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

Moreover, we have also been concerned over reports that the water being used for spraying has been sourced from inefficient Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) and may contain E. Coli, which in turn indicates that the water is contaminated with faecal material and there is a possibility of disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and parasites.

A smaller yet important concern lately has been the growing number of stray dogs in residential areas. Most of these dogs have made our parks their home. There have been increasing incidents of children being bitten by these dogs. Repeated complaints on the corporation’s official website have apparently fallen on deaf ears as we are yet to be relieved.

While no sheet of paper is long enough to accommodate all the problems of a city as large as Delhi, we sincerely hope to see some headway made in the right direction soon.

Yours faithfully,

A citizen

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