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Hard to digest! Water woes in Vile Parle lead to rise in gastroenteritis

More than 50 people have contracted gastroenteritis since February 13 due to contamination of water; it took BMC three days to figure out the cause

General practitioners and chemists of Vile Parle witnessed an increase in the number of patients complaining of symptoms like stomach ache, vomiting and diarrhoea in the past few days.

Civic officials turned on water hydrants in Vile Parle to check the quality of water after residents complained of foul smell and contamination
Civic officials turned on water hydrants in Vile Parle to check the quality of water after residents complained of foul smell and contamination

According to reports, residents have been complaining of a foul smell in the water from the last one week and during that time, more than 50 people have been prescribed antibiotics to counter gastroenteritis.

The issue came to the surface when several residents from Hanuman Road, Sant Janabai Marg and Malviya Road fell sick after consuming the contaminated water.

According to a chemist from the area, a nagar sevak was informed about the incident. However, it took three days for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to figure out the cause of contamination.

Mahavir Jain, a chemist from Vinayak Medical Store in Sant Janabai Marg said, “In one day we witnessed dozens of patients with doctor’s prescriptions for symptoms like diarrhoea, vomiting and mild fever.

With the number of patients rising, we informed the civic authorities, but it took a few days for them to zero-in on the cause behind the water contamination.”

While some were admitted to hospitals, in most cases they underwent treatment with their general practitioners. According to the residents, owing to recent maintenance measures, the roads were dug up, which may have caused the contamination.

BMC speak
This correspondent noticed that civic body officials were turning on the water hydrants in Hanuman Road and Sant Janabai Marg to check the quality of water. Dr Mangala Gomare, BMC’s chief executive health officer, said, “While I have heard about the water contamination issue in Vile Parle, I haven’t received any reports on the number of gastroenteritis cases yet.”

Ramesh Bambale, the chief hydraulic engineer of BMC said, “To avoid any polluted water entering the main pipe, we are taking all precautions by turning on the water hydrants. We were facing an issue of draining the sewer water, and with an overflow of sewer drains the contamination happened.”

Voices
Since last Saturday, I have been getting at least four to five patients every day suffering from gastroenteritis. My family and I also noticed a foul smell in the water and just three days back my 14-year-old daughter fell ill as well. - Dr Ashutosh Pradhan, General Practitioner from Vile Parle

My two-year-old daughter Aarya had to be admitted to the hospital after she contracted gastroenteritis three days back. My wife, mother and I also suffered from symptoms of diarrhoea and were treated by our family doctor. We have spent more than Rs 10,000 on medical treatment - Pradip Revankar (30), resident of Malviya Road, with wife and daughter

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