Mumbaikars get blackwater with bleak solution

Updated: May 23, 2019, 08:44 IST | Chetna Yerunkar

Goregaon housing society and college next door wage lonely war against contaminated, foul-smelling water as BMC works in slow motion to fix the issue

Mumbaikars get blackwater with bleak solution
Residents of the Pagrav society have to drain out the black water for 35-40 minutes every day

For over a month now, a housing society and a college in Goregaon have been receiving a nightmarish supply of contaminated water, but there seems to be no end in sight to this problem. The principal of the Patkar-Varde college and residents of Pagrav society have repeatedly complained to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation ( BMC) regarding the black coloured, stinking water they have been receiving since March, but the civic body has barely paid any heed.

AK Bansal, the secretary of Pagrav society, said, "We had first written to BMC in March, after which the problem had been temporarily solved. But in April, we started getting black and foul- smelling water. We have to drain out the black water for almost 35 to 40 minutes, after which we start storing water in our tanks. But even the stored water has a foul odour and is not at all potable." BMC does precious little The housing society has been forced to rely on mineral water.

Once the colour of the water fades, it is replaced by a foul stench that doesn’t leave. PICS/Sameer Markande
Once the colour of the water fades, it is replaced by a foul stench that doesn’t leave. Pics/Sameer Markande

Some of its 114 tenants, claimed to have faced health issues and skin irritation due to the water. A salon housed in the building had to resort to tanker water as they started losing clients because of the stinking water.

To resolve this issue, BMC had sent one of their officials to verify residents' complaints by collecting samples, but nothing else has been done since. The residents said BMC has dug on the road to identify the issue but this has not solved anything, as the black, filthy water continues to be supplied to homes. Even the local elected representatives said they would be able to help only after results of the Lok Sabha elections are declared.

College's woes The Patkar- Varde college, which is in the neighbourhood, has also been plagued by the foul water. Since April, the college has written three letters to BMC, the latest one being sent last Friday, but has received no response. Dr Aarti Sawant, vice- principal of Patkar college said, "Our college has written thrice to BMC to resolve the water problem, which persists. Several students are coming to the college for exams and there is also a women's hostel in the premises, which has also faced this issue for over a month." 'We're fixing it' When mid- day reached out to BMC, the chief engineer of the hydraulic engineering department remained unavailable for comment. However, an official from the P South ward's water department said, "We are already working on solving the issue and we are hopeful it will be fixed in three to four days.

There is likely some leakage causing the water supply to mix with the underground filth. We have dug trenches to place cameras and identify the problem. We are taking time to identify the issues because of the electric cables above our water line. We have to dig carefully without affecting them; however, things have been planned and we want to fix this problem at the earliest."

Blackwater, bleak solution Goregaon housing society and college next door wage lonely war against contaminated, foul-smelling water as BMC works in slow motion to fix issue Residents of the Pagrav society have to drain out the black water for 35- 40 minutes every day Once the colour of the water fades, it is replaced by a foul stench that doesn't leave.

The odour is bad even if the colour starts to fade after we drain the initial supply of water. They [BMC] are also digging on the roads to identify the problem. We do not know what else to do; we have to rely only on mineral water for drinking.' Rizwan Shaikh, local salon employee 'We have to rely on tanker water as we cannot use this water for our clients' 'We are already working on solving the issue and we are hopeful it will be fixed in three to four days' An official from the P South ward's water department.

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