Experts say toxic gases emanating from these drains are harmful, especially for new-borns, elderly and patients, as residents cite a host of problems due to poor management of the drains.
Poor management of Noida and Shahdara drains by the government authorities has put the health of residents’ in nearby areas at risk. Toxic gases emanating from the drains cause several ailments.
Residents who happen to live near the drains are forced to breathe in such gases all the time and are in a virtual death trap. For instance, residents of East End Apartments, one of the largest housing societies in Mayur Vihar Phase I Extension, constantly have to bear the foul smell from Shahdara drain.
The hazardous effects of gases from the drain can be discerned from the fact that not only the human body but also components of electronic gadgets, such as air conditioners and refrigerators, utensils and paintings are affected.
A senior doctor and a resident of Block 8, East End Apartments, who did not wish to be named, says, “Due to the toxic gases, utensils, paintings and items made of iron gradually turn black in colour. The gases cause breathing problems, hypertension, eye aches and many other problems. New-born babies, senior citizens and patients are easily affected.”
“I’ve seen many new-borns being affected since I shifted to the society last October. I’ve had to fill my AC’s coolant three times in the last two months. I don’t want to live here anymore,” he added.
SB Shrivastava, another resident of the society, says, “We spend around Rs 50,000 every year in repairing ACs and refrigerators. No private service provider in the area is ready to sign an annual contract for maintenance these items.”
Noida and Shahdara drains pass through the heart of Noida and Mayor Vihar Extension and affect nearby societies such as in sectors 14, 15, 18, 11, 12, 21, 22, 25, 26, 33, 34, 35, 39, 41, 50, 52, 46, 93, 137, and Noida Phase II etc.
Pradeep Vohra , a resident of Sector 22, says, “We have been facing the issue since long but the authorities have failed to give a permanent solution. We registered complaints for cleaning the drain but to no effect.”
Officials of Noida Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) confirmed that during the aeration of the sewage caused by its flow, toxic gases such as methane, hydrogen sulphide, ammonia and carbon monoxide are released. However, officials of Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), an autonomous body under the Delhi government, did not confirm the same.
According to Samakant Shrivastava, senior project engineer, Noida Authority, domestic sewage contains several kinds of organic substances that are measured under the parameters BOD (biological oxygen demand), COD (chemical oxygen demand) and TSS (total suspended solid).
He said, “When sewage is brought for treatment, it contains around 175 to 200 BOD per milligram litre, which is reduced to less than 10 milligrams per litre. The amount of COD and TSS content is 400 millgram per litre, which is reduced to 6 and 32 milligram per litre respectively after treatment,” he said.
When City Spidey contacted officials of DPCC, they were clueless about the gases that emanated from Shahdara drain. They had not done a survey to ascertain the condition of the drain. City Spidey reached out to three senior officials but got the same answer from them.
SM Ali, member secretary, DPCC, said, “We have no such data. We conduct survey on the condition of water only. No complaints from residents have been received. If residents submit a written complaint, we will inspect and then comment on the matter.”
City Spidey found out that Shahdara drain emits toxins as it turns putrid because of ground mismatch. As the drain is two metres lower than the Yamuna river, the sewage doesn’t flow smoothly into the river.