As sewage mixes with drinking water in Kalyan East building, residents take ill one by one; corporator says, problem fixed
The New Sarita Cooperative Housing Society in Kalyan East has turned out to be its residents’ bogeyman. One after another, 52 occupants of the building have developed jaundice. While initial symptoms of jaundice were brushed off as a viral infection, it was only after residents of 25 of the 27 flats in the four-storey building began taking ill did the Kalyan-Dombivali Municipal Corporation (KDMC) go looking for the source of the problem. What it found sent the residents scurrying for cover — the drinking water pipeline of the housing society had developed a leak, leading to contamination of the water with sewage.
The worker sits beside the water pipeline of New Sarita Cooperative Housing Society in Kalyan East that’s under repair
Ekanth Sonawane, a member of the housing society’s committee, says that after doctors diagnosed a number of residents with hepatitis A and E, they cleaned their water tank. “Yet, more people began taking ill. That’s when we spoke to KDMC about the issue.”
Subhash Gholap has been on leave for a week to care for his family members who are ill
The outbreak has forced most residents to move out until the contamination is controlled. Others have decided to stay put, albeit with precautions. “We now drink only mineral water,” says Aniket Mishra, an engineering student who was discharged from the hospital on Friday. Sonawane has temporarily sought refuge at his father-in-law's home. Subhash Gholap, who resides on the second floor with son Yadnesh, wife Savita and daughter Monica, says most of his family is under the grip of jaundice. “I have been on leave for a week since everyone is ill,” rues the employee of Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank Ltd. Only a handful of flats that had water purifiers caught a lucky break, says SD Zambare, chairman. Local corporator Vishal Pawase, who accompanied KDMC officials while checking the pipeline for leaks and helped arrange a medical camp to collect blood samples of residents, says the pipeline has now been changed.
Kalyan gets water from KDMC three days a week due to shortage of water.