Water may be unfit for human consumption

Apr 27, 2012, 11:16 IST | Vinod Kumar Menon and Atul Kamble

41-year-old Parvati Jadhav's death due to water scarcity in Thane's Dolara village seems to have woken up the authorities from their slumber. Promises have been made of two water tankers, each carrying 4,000 litres, arriving here every day. However, there is a twist in the tale, as Vinod Kumar Menon and Atul Kamble found that the water being supplied is unfit for human consumption, but is being lapped up by the locals who are out of options

Home delivery

Amit Amrut Savar (18), water tanker driver from Gandhipur area, drove 4,000 litres of water to Dolara village, located in Mokhada taluka, on Wednesday morning. Surprisingly, no one stopped Savar to check the quality of water that he was carrying, nor was there anyone to ensure that he actually emptied the entire 4,000 litres into the well, located on the outskirts of Dolara

All’s not well

The water, poured into the well from a height of about 30 feet, loosens the dirt and grime inside, and turns muddy. The next moment, locals are vying with each other to have their quota

Down and dirty

Villagers from Dolara were spotted fetching water from the well without even allowing the mud and other impurities to settle down

Blank check!

Anil Ahire is a multi-purpose worker (MPW) at the local primary health centre, at Khodala taluka. His job is to collect water samples from villages and get the same examined for the trichloride level, using his portable kit. Samples are also sent to the rural hospital in Mokhada, where detailed laboratory checking is done. When asked why he did not test the water samples of the tanker, he clarified that the water tanker service just started on Wednesday, and being short-staffed the administration cannot check water from all tankers. He claimed he would now begin collecting samples from areas falling under his jurisdiction.

Bees saal baad

The only borewell in Dolara village, which was constructed 20 years ago, is of no use today. According to Santosh Gawli, the local grampanchayat member, the borewell has remained non-functional for the last eight years, as the handle of the hand pump is broken. He says local authorities claim they don’t have the few thousand rupees required for its repair

What they say
Vasai MLA and chief of Shramajeevi Sanghatana, Vivek Pandit:
“On April 23, I had suggested that every village where water scarcity is an issue, should be supplied with 5,000-litre water tanks, with taps. This will resolve issues like water contamination and the hardship of fetching water from 40-ft wells. Also, it will help measure the actual quantity of water that is being transported by the water tankers. The money required was sanctioned for the same by the tribal development department, but local villagers were against the idea and hence nothing moved.

Rajendra Gavit, state minister for tribal development:
“I have already held a high-level meeting with the local administrative officials and have apprised them to keep a check on the water contamination issue. There is no point in transporting water, which is unhealthy and unfit for human consumption. Also, I have found that Rs 1.53 crore was sanctioned in 2009 for construction of Khoch dam, but the concerned department from water supplies was sitting on the file for the last three years, doing nothing. The concerned officer has been reprimanded and has been asked to do the needful at the earliest. I am hopeful that the dam work would begin soon, which will solve the water problem for most of the villages in Jawhar, Mokhada and Vikramgad.  

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