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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Muddy, stinky water in Fort taps, BMC clueless

Around 700 families have been receiving discoloured water for past 20 days; fear ruptured pipe could have contaminated water supply


    Around 700 families residing at Perin Nariman Street in Fort, abutting Bora Bazaar, have been complaining of receiving discoloured and smelly water supply for the past 20 days. They have alleged that contaminated water has resulted in people suffering from throat infections and diarrhoea. 
    The residents said that they complained to the BMC a number of times over the past two weeks, even submitted written complaints at the BMC headquarters barely 100 metres away, but neither have they received a satisfactory reply, nor has the problem been solved. 
    They fear that a sewer pipe has ruptured, and has contaminated the water supply. The BMC officials admitted they haven't been able to locate the 
source of the problem. 
    There are public toilets right outside the entrance of the Bora Bazaar lane, opposite the General Post Office building at CST. The residents said one of the explanations given to them by a BMC employee was that a public toilet pipe 
could have got damaged. At least 40 buildings in Perin Nariman Street have been affected, forcing people to buy bottled water, the residents said. 
    Bhimji Gala, a resident of Satya Niwas, who runs a stationery shop on the ground floor, said: "We are forced 
to spend hundreds of rupees on bottled water every day. Some are considering the option of calling for water tankers. The water looks like it has been mixed with tar, and emanates stench. We are sure that sewer water is getting mixed with the drinking water supply." 
    Gala said the residents ran the risk of contracting jaundice and typhoid, and many were already suffering from infections. Diamond trader Jagat Shah, a resident of Prabhu Kunj building, is one of those ailing, allegedly because of dirty water. "I'm suffering from severe throat infection, which I am sure is because of the contaminated water," he said, "Ours is one of the oldest streets in south Mumbai, and it's ridiculous that we have to put up with such civic apathy." 
    Khyati Nisarg from Tagdi Manzeel said, "When we began receiving water that was yellow in colour and had a foul smell, we suspected a sewer line 
had ruptured and contaminated our supply. We immediately informed the BMC about it." She said that the BMC assured them the complaint would be looked into. "But a few days later, when the problem persisted, we were told to allow three to four buckets of water to flow away before using the water. That was no solution," she said. 
    A BMC official told this newspaper that an inspection was carried out, but the source of the problem could not be detected. "Officials from the Water Department tried to find the leakage and dug trenches at the connecting points of the pipeline, but the problem could not be fixed." 
    Corporator Ganesh Sanap promised the problem will be solved soon. "The pipelines are old, and could have corroded, leading to the sewer water getting mixed with drinking water supply. I'm in touch with the ward officials," he said.

One explanation by a BMC employee was that a public toilet pipe had been damaged

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