Posts Tagged ‘packaged drinking water’
By Virat A Singh and Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 24, 2009)
Hrithik Roshan gets this water. As do hundreds of residents in one of the city’s most posh suburbs. Every day, for over a month now, residents of Juhu’s 12th and 13th Road have been waking up to severely contaminated water flowing from their taps.
|Water sample collected from Hrithik’s Juhu 12th Road home at 3 pm on Wednesday|
Supplied by BMC as drinking water, it is the colour of coal tar, with visible suspended particles, and smells of faeces. And it flows from taps meant for supplying clean, potable water.
This has forced Roshan’s wife Sussanne, a mother of two, to use the family’s good offices to bring the BMC to book. “It is a very bad situation. We are getting drinking water which is mixed with sewage water,” she told Mumbai Mirror.
The Roshans who live at Palazzio building on Juhu 12th Road sent Ashok Vasodia, their secretary to BMC K/West Ward office on Wednesday afternoon to lodge a complaint. Their concerns are shared by the other residents who live under the threat of an epidemic breakout.
Vigilant resident Kishore Gupta remarked, “We have a TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) meter at our house and the reading of the BMC water ranges from 135 to 200, while a packaged drinking water has a TDS of around 70. BMC water should normally have around 75. This shows the extent of contamination!”
“We are receiving dark, brackish water, which smells of faeces and can be used only to flush toilets. We are forced to use packaged water,” complained Sunila Lalwani, a resident of Jasmet on 12th Road, opposite Roshan’s Palazzio. She also added that her 11-year-old son Sachin who must have somehow ingested this contaminated water, had to miss his second semester examination after falling ill.
Rekha Teckani, who runs a playgroup for children in the neighbourhood, says, “If we take a bath with this water we start stinking. The question of using this water for drinking and cooking does not even arise!” Teckani buys packaged drinking water for her playgroup kids.
According to Dr Anant Narde, resident of Girnar building on 13th Road, the problem of contaminated water was aggravated after BMC contractors, appointed for re-laying 13th Road, damaged the existing water pipelines in September this year. “We have been receiving this contaminated water for over a month now and live in constant fear of our children taking ill. Officials from the BMC’s Hydraulic Engineering department assured us they will provide us free potable water. But we will have to bring tankers and it is not possible for us to go scouting for tankers in the morning. The neighbourhood has no option but to call for private water tankers.”
Some residents have even threatened that if the problem is not solved in a couple of days they will fill bottles with the contaminated water and present it to councillor Adolf D’Souza and all BMC officials from the K/West Ward as a Christmas gift.
Local councillor Adolf D’Souza blamed the contractors who damaged the pipelines while working on the road. “After receiving complaints from the residents we inspected the site along with officials of the Hydraulic Engineering department and discovered that the existing pipeline has been damaged at various places, allowing sewage water to seep through the water pipeline throughout the stretch. We have already laid new water pipeline on 13th Road and it was to be connected by March next year. But given the gravity of the situation I have asked officials to connect these new pipes to the main water line near Juhu Church and supply clean water from that pipeline.”
A senior official from Hydraulic department voiced, “We are tired of the sewerage department as their contractors have been merrily damaging water pipelines all around Juhu and neighbouring areas and we have to face the ire of locals. We are repairing the lines and laying down a new pipeline to solve the water woes completely but this will take around a week’s time.”
Juhu residents have been facing the problem of contaminated water for nearly 10 years. And laying down new pipelines may not be the answer. As Sunila Lalwani pointed out, “A new pipe line compounded the problem as it cut down the water flow drastically. We were receiving only one hour of water supply everyday. So laying down a new line without rectifying the water pressure problem is foolish.”