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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Water contamination cases spike to 400 Major Chunk Of Complaints From D Ward, Home To CM

 There seems to be no end to the water problems Mumbaikars mu st face. Over and above the 10% cut in water supply, residents now have to cope with a spike in contamination cases. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has registered 399 complaints of water contamination in the city from January this year — more than 

a third of which were registered after June. 
    The bulk—192—of the complaints came from the island city, which still uses supply pipes that date back to the British era. Residents complain it is high time the civic body got its act together and started replacing the leaky old pipes. 
    The BMC's data shows that it is yet to attend to 41 of the 399 complaints received. Interestingly, the D Ward (Tardeo, Girgaum, Walkeshwar, Mahalaxmi and Nana Chowk), home to the city's top brass, including the governor and the chief minister, topped the list with 
44 complaints. While T Ward (Mulund), where the BMC tried out a 24/7 water supply pilot project, registered the least complaints at th ree. K-West (Andheri West, Juhu, Versova and Jogeshwari) registered 32 complaints, toppi ng the chart in the western suburbs. Ma ximum complain ts—31—in the eastern suburbs were from MEast (Deonar, Govandi, Mankhurd and Trombay). 
    Last year, an alarmingly high 33% of the complaints were lodged during the monsoon months of June to September. Officials have admitted that contamination cases rise during monsoon because of seepage of sewage and ground water into old pipes. "Many of the water supply pipes have not been changed since the time they were installed. During monsoon, sewage and ground water usually seeps into fissures in these pipes, contaminating the water supply," said a senior official from the hydraulic department. 
    However, the BMC claims it has sufficient measures in place to handle such a crisis. "We are prepared to take emergency action and have organized mobile chlorinator vans that can reach localities where contamination levels are high and immediately treat contaminated water," said Rajeev Jalota, additional municipal commissioner (projects). 
    The BMC checks approximately 1,000 water samples from across 24 wards in the city each day, and during the monsoon, the BMC plans to increase the number of samples tested. Officials have also promised to reduce the reaction time between a complaint being lodged and looked into. 
    Residents, though, allege that the civic body has been ignoring the root of the problem — supply pipes, Hansel D'Souza of the Juhu citizens welfare group said, "The water that the city receives from the reservoirs is of the best quality, but the problem lies in supply pipes. The problem is that the BMC only treats the effect (water contamination) but has ignored the cause (rusty old pipes)."


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