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The 13-year-old old had walked more than half-a-kilometre with her maternal aunt and cousin to get meetha pani (drinking water) when she was abducted and raped.
Residents of the area in southeast Delhi’s Badarpur said due to the absence of drinking water in their block, girls from many families go to a Delhi Jal Board pipeline connection in another block more than 500 metres away to get water. They said if their area had drinking water facility, nothing would have happened to the girl. The walk to and back from the pipeline takes about 30 minutes.
The small locality in Badarpur is divided into three blocks A, B and C. People who lived in JJ clusters in south Delhi’s Gautam Nagar, East of Kailash and Nizamuddin area were rehabilitated here 16 years ago.
”We are facing acute water crisis here. We have to fetch water from other block,” said a woman who lives near the house of the 13-year-old. “Now, I will never allow my daughter to get the water from that tap.”
Carrying plastic jars, the girl, her cousin and aunt had gone to fetch water at about 5.30 pm on May 17. The road they took is full of shops and has houses on both sides. The girl vanished when her aunt and cousin were fetching water from the tap.
A 45-year-old driver who lives in the area said, “Usually there are two timings for water supply — two hours in morning and two more in the evening, but it changes sometimes. As men are out on work, women and children are always on their toes to get drinking water.”
He added, “Many residents have installed pipelines, but they do not get water in them.” Pointing to one of the pipelines, he added: “This was installed seven years ago. Water is yet to flow through it.”
A carpenter’s wife in the area said, “The water problem affects our children’s studies. They have to be ready to rush for water.”