Can residents find respite from the toxic fumes of Shahdara drain this summer?

By Praveen Dwivedi
Photo: City Spidey archives
Posted: Apr 24, 2018

Will residents of East Delhi and a part of Noida find respite from the toxic gases emanating from untreated sewage of Shahdara drain this summer?

No, at least not this summer.

Delhi Jal Board (DJB) will take at least six more months to start its newly installed sewer pumping station (SPS) near Kalyanpuri area. This pumping station was supposed to become operational from 2010. A pumping set is to be set up near Ghazipur to carry sewage from the drain to Kalyanpuri sewer pumping station for treatment.

“The project got delayed due to some glitches, but it would be made operational in next six months. DJB’s target is to treat sewerage water flowing through the drains in the city. Sewage flowing into Shahdara drain will be treated before it reaches Yamuna,” a senior DJB official said, requesting anonymity.

He also ruled out the possibility of covering Shahdara drain. He argued, "Covering it is an impractical idea. Shahdara canal was created as an emergency plan for controlling rain water run-off. Therefore, covering such a drain would be pointless. The focus should be to treat the sewage before it leaves the source and enters the canal. Covering the nallah will only make it harder to remove the sludge. Also, nallahs are lined with trees and shrubs that shelter wildlife. Concretising them will only cause more ecological harm. Moreover, reduced oxygenation will lead to more toxic emissions."

East End Apartment, located near new Ashok Nagar in East Delhi, and Noida Sectors 14 and 15 are located close to Shahdara drain, and have to face the brunt of civic apathy. 

In May last year, City Spidey had reported how the toxic gases not only impacted human body, but also electronic gadgets, including air conditioners, refrigerators, utensils, paintings . The gases also caused breathing problems.

Residents in East End Apartments complained that during the summer they need to get their air conditioners and refrigerators repaired twice – and sometimes thrice — in a span of three months. "We have to replace the refrigerant gases every year for our fridges and air-conditioners because of leaking pipes. The toxic fumes can corrode metal, then imagine, what happens to our lungs!" 

Shahdara drain was originally a flood-control measure taken by Delhi’s irrigation and flood control department to prevent floods in the trans-Yamuna area. But the drain is now clogged with sewage flow from unauthorised residential colonies. And this toxic water has been flowing directly into the Yamuna, choking it every day.

TAGS: East Delhi / Noida / Shahdra drain / Delhi Jal Board / DJB / Kalyanpuri area / East End Apartments / Yamuna