Article courtesy of Bilkul Online | June 17, 2015 | Bilkul Online | Shared as educational material
Every monsoon, the BMC is deluged with complaints of water contamination. So this year, the civic body has increased the number of testing points in the city. Around 30 new sampling points would be added, especially in slum areas, where the number of water contamination complaints is higher.
Every day, the BMC collects water samples which are tested for any kind of contamination it may have. In most cases, contaminated water samples have contents like sewage water, mud or E coli, which are likely to cause gastroenteritis and diarrhoea.
At present, the BMC has 317 sampling points. “Within the next 15 days, we would be able to identify these 30 new sampling points,” said a senior official from the BMC’s hydraulics department.
“We are targeting slum areas, mainly from where water contamination complaints are higher. We would be asking assistant engineers (water works) at ward levels to point out slum pockets where sampling is needed. Several leakages are reported every monsoon, which lead to contamination of water as well,” the senior official said.
The BMC’s environment status report of the year 2013-14 indicated that the upscale Marine Drive and congested Kalbadevi and Zaveri Bazaar—all part of C Ward in south Mumbai—recorded the worst supply last year with up to 24% contamination in its potable water. The Worli-Prabhadevi belt and Chembur got the cleanest water, with contamination of only 5-6%, in 2013-14.
Activists have welcomed the BMC’s move to increase the sampling points. “Contaminated water has been a cause of concern for citizens since long. Sampling the water is one of best ways to ensure that it is safe to consume. It’s good that they are targeting slums as contamination issues are higher in those areas on account of the large concentration of population,” said Malabar Hill resident Indrani Malkani, trustee-V Citizens Action Network.
Meanwhile, Milind Mhaske, project director of NGO Praja, said, “While it’s a good move to add water sampling points, only 30 more points is not enough for a city as large as Mumbai. Also, the corporation should put up the data on water contamination levels on their website, so that there is transparency.”