Drinking water from our taps smells like gutter water: South Mumbai building residents

Several people have fallen sick and nearly 100 families in a Kalbadevi building have been suffering for a fortnight because they have been getting black, foul-smelling water from their BMC taps

Nearly 100 families are suffering and several people have fallen sick because the BMC water supply to their building has been contaminated and they get black coloured, foul smelling water whenever they open their taps.

Residents with bottles full of the contaminated water
Residents with bottles full of the contaminated water

Residents of the F and G wings of Nar Narayan Building in Kalbadevi, who have been facing this problem for more than 15 days, allege that the BMC has not been of much help and is clueless about the cause of the contamination.

Maya Dave with her one-and-a-half-year-old son. Pics/Datta Kumbhar
Maya Dave with her one-and-a-half-year-old son. Pics/Datta Kumbhar

They claim that while the local corporator managed to arrange BMC water tankers for them, she could only arrange for one a day and that too on a paid basis. Sonali Garodiya, a resident of G wing, said, “Both my sons fell sick after drinking this water a few days ago.

They have been suffering from dysentery and have not been able to attend college because of it. We immediately stopped drinking that water and are now forced to depend completely on expensive packaged water.” Maya Dave (31), another resident, said, “My husband has taken ill because of the contaminated water.

He ends up vomiting every time he eats anything. I have also been unable to bathe my one-and-a-half-year-old son for two days because I don’t know how his sensitive skin would react to the contaminated water.” Another resident, Bhairavi Chokashi, added, “The smell of the tap water is so bad that it feels like it is coming straight from the gutter.

Even the water purifier has stopped working because the black particles in the water have choked the filter.” Harkishan Garodiya, a resident of F wing, who was also suffering from dysentery because of the dirty water, said, “As soon as we found that the water was contaminated, we complained to the water department of C ward (Kalbadevi) office.

Engineers from the ward came to our building, but couldn’t figure out the source of the contamination. They have been doing this for the last fortnight.” “Since the problem was not solved, we approached local corporator Veena Jain for help.

She promised we would get water tankers, but asked us to pay Rs 600 per tanker. The problem is from the BMC’s side, so why should we pay for the tanker? Also, the BMC had promised two tankers a day, but have been sending just one. They are harassing us,” he added.

BMC speak
On Tuesday, BMC workers went to the building and cut off the water connection for repair work. Local corporator Veena Jain said, “We have started providing them water tankers, since the old pipeline will have to be replaced.

The pipeline which supplies water to the building comes from Vithalwadi and the metal in it has eroded. Changing the pipeline will take at least a week.” Asked about the money being charged for the tankers, Jain added, “We have not charged anything for the tanker water.

I had asked for the old pipelines to be replaced, and this has begun in Kalbadevi.” BMC’s Chief Hydraulic Engineer Ramesh Bamble said, “I am not aware of the problem as my assistant engineer and deputy chief engineer are on leave. I will look into the matter as soon as possible.”

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