When Delhi’s mountain of shame caved in

NEW DELHI: Garbage slides are not new to residents of Khoda Colony, living as they do just around 70 metres from the edge of the landfill at Ghazipur. But Friday was the first time that they saw such a massive chunk collapse on to the road skirting the mountains of trash. And as the accumulated muck thundered down, it swept a number of cars and bikes into the Kondli canal running parallel to the road. Two died, but many more could have lost their lives if not for the quick response of the local people
“I saw people struggling to stay afloat in the canal,” said Shamsher Ali, a meat seller. Like other bravehearts, Ali climbed the colony’s iron barricade and jumped into the water to rescue those trapped in the cars. He later recalled, “The water smelt horribly of the festering garbage, but I managed to pull out the driver of car that was bobbing in the water.” Long-time residents of the area said that the 10-feetdeep canal is usually filled to the brim during the rainy season. “We generally do not go for a swim during the monsoon due to the swift undercurrent,” said Ali. “However, today I did not think twice before plunging in. I know I could have drowned, but that did not seem too important at the time.”

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