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No takers for residents' woes

By Our Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI, JULY 4. The ongoing power and water crisis in the Capital seems to have completely exposed all the tall claims of the power and water utilities here, at least when it comes to patiently listening to the woes of Delhiites.

It is not only the Government-owned Delhi Jal Board, whose top officials continued to be "insensitive" to the demand of the residents but also the professionally managed discoms whose officials and employees do not even give a patient hearing to people's woes. However, discom officials claimed that they were on their toes during the past 48 hours fighting the crisis.

But the residents alleged that both the power and water utilities in the Capital have failed miserably and there was no difference between the two when it came to providing service. The complaints were mostly from the posh localities of South Delhi and Central and West Delhi. "Whenever there is a power cut, the officials suddenly switch off their phones and the call centres become ineffective," alleged D.M. Narang, of New Rajinder Nagar Resident Welfare Association.

Much to the shock of over two dozen senior citizens including several women who reached the Shankar Road complaint centre of BSES Rajdhani Power Limited last night, they found liquor bottles inside the rooms. "It was shocking to see the employees under the influence of liquor. We never expected such a situation," complained G.K. Khanna a resident of Rajinder Nagar.

The colony experienced some six hours of power cut on Friday night during which the senior citizens camped at the Shankar Road complaint centre.

Another resident of the area, Nirmal Bhatnagar, who teaches as a guest faculty at the I.P. College, alleged that the officials manning the centre even refused to lodge a complaint. "They were rude and aggressive in their behaviour. When we questioned them they tried to run away from the scene. These officials claimed that they did not have equipment and spare parts to repair the fault and said it could be repaired only when the only van for the entire region would arrive," she alleged. "Despite the fact that we were there at Shankar Road within 30 minutes of the power cut at 9-40 p.m., electricity could be restored only at 3-45 a.m. This shows how professional they are," she complained.

Similarly in R.K. Puram, though the BSES employees were quick to arrive to rectify the fault, residents had to purchase the spare parts from local market. "There is no spare part. We have not even been provided with safety gadgets. It is a hazardous job," said one of the employees. The residents alleged that no safety standard was being followed by the discoms, Rakesh Sinha said: "Any major accident can take place here." Complaints from other South Delhi areas like Defence Colony, South Extension, Okhla, Jamia Nagar and Green Park were of a similar nature.

As regards the water crisis, residents alleged the DJB officials rarely listened to their plea of sending water tankers. "It is only a few VVIPs who are privileged to get water tankers," they alleged. Even in certain pockets of Gole Market area, which have not been receiving water for the past three days, residents alleged, adding that they did not get any help from the office of residence of the Delhi Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit, who happens to be their MLA. "If this is the case with a VVIP constituency, one can just imagine the fate of the other parts of the Capital," alleged B.K. Keshav, a resident of Vikas Vihar in Uttam Nagar, which too has not been receiving water for the past few weeks.

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