Delhi s dream clean up

Tucked along the eastern fringe of Delhi is Karkar Model village of Sahibabad in Uttar Pradesh's Ghaziabad district. The village's main fault: it is outside Delhi and in the middle of what has become a major industrial area. In recent years, the village has become the location of choice for clandestine operations of polluting industrial units kicked out of Delhi. All this has left the water and air severely polluted. There is no redress for the residents.

Mahendra Singh Raghav, 35, has a small shop just outside his house, but struggles to run it. He spends his time either inside the house or at the nearby hospital due to a severe breathing problem quite common here. "About 20 patients come to me daily with breathing problems,' says Sonu, a medical storeowner. The village's six other medical stores have similar stories to tell.

But some say Mahendra is fortunate. "His breathing problem hasn't yet developed into tuberculosis (tb),' says Satish, who provides the village direct observer treatment (dot), a programme run by the National tb Control Programme. "Nearly 200 cases of tuberculosis have mushroomed in the village in the last 3-4 years. They begin with breathing problems,' Satish reveals. He has a list of 46 patients, to whom he provides medicine. This excludes