Mumbai teen hospitalised: Faulty sewage system is root of all problems

Updated: Dec 15, 2016, 10:08 IST | Rupsa Chakraborty

A day after the report about a teen being hospitalised due to builder’s negligence, BMC officers find water to be contaminated too

The collected water keeps stagnating to become breeding ground
The collected water keeps stagnating to become breeding ground

The bad news, it just keeps on coming for the residents of Mahim’s plush Evershine Meadows. A day after mid-day’s report that the builder’s negligence regarding dirty sewage water landed a teenager in hospital with dengue, the BMC officials paid a visit to the site and found even more horrifying lapses.

It gets worse
In its inspection on Tuesday and Wednesday, the BMC team that finally followed up on the complaint about the overflowing septic tank that ultimately became a breeding ground for mosquitoes, the officers concluded that the sewage system was completely blocked. In fact, the contaminated water from the septic tank, which shares a wall with the main water tank, was oozing in the water supply to the building. Residents also reported that they had spotted worms in the drinking water due to this contamination.

Now, the residents are now planning to file an FIR with the Pollution Control Board against Ludhani Builders under section 26 of the Environmental Protection Act, 1986. Talking to mid-day, Amit Rao, father of the hospitalised teen, said, “We have filed so many complaints with the builders to take steps against the faulty sewage system. They kept sitting on it, and now it has gone out of control.”

Still no water samples
“The sewage system is faulty and is oozing out as a result. In fact, when we inspected the meter room, we saw that it is flooded. That can also lead to safety hazards. More dangerous though, is that the septic tank and drinking water tank share a wall between them,” said the BMC officer who went for the inspection, but could not collect a water sample because the building was out of jurisdiction. “We have examined the place, but it is not the fault of BMC. It is a problem inside the building. Still, officers will visit the site tomorrow (Thursday) to collect samples,” added the officer.

Litany of complaints
Jamshed Ansari, an advocate with Bombay HC said that a month ago, he saw “worms in the drinking water” and also filed a complaint. “Recently, my neighbour also saw some worms in drinking water. This can be a severe health issue. This is because of the contaminated water overflowing into the water tank,” said Ansari.

Another resident, Imran Rathore, said that he had found the drinking water to be stinking on several occasions. “Despite having a good quality water purifier, the drinking water at home stinks,” he said.

Builder accepts fault
Rao claims he spoke to the building manager Robert, who has assured them that the sewage treatment plant is faulty and they are trying to replace it at the earliest. “He said they have ordered new pumps and will quickly address the mixing of sewage water with drinking water. They are also adding an extra motor to pump an extra 18-inch above the BMC drainage system,” Rao said.

Narshibhai Patel, responsible of the maintenance of the flats, accepted that due to faulty sewage system, the water from the septic tank had made its way to the ground floor and turned into a breeding ground for mosquitoes. “The sewage treatment plant is damaged so the water in overflowing, but we are working on it and we will fix it,” said Patel.

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