Most Mumbaiites are worried about the pollution in the air they breathe and in the water they drink, and do not think the government is doing enough to tackle these issues.
These were the findings of a recent HTC fore survey. Air quality emerged as the biggest concern, with 87% of respondents saying they were ‘very worried’ about the contaminants they were breathing in.
Drinking water emerged as second largest concern, with 68% of respondents saying they do not believe that the water they drink is safe, and more than half (58%) saying they had been forced to seek medical help for ailments caused by contaminated water.
These findings correspond with a Hindustan Times water audit carried out in December, which found that six of 10 samples collected contained bacteria that could cause stomach, intestinal and eye infections.
With reference to types of noise pollution, 76% of respondents in last week’s poll said the constant din of traffic was the greatest nuisance.
In a clear verdict on the government’s efforts to tackle this menace, 92% of respondents said they felt the authorities were not doing enough.
Responding to the survey’s findings, additional municipal commissioner (projects) Rajiv Jalota, the man in charge of the city’s water supply, admitted that contamination was a problem and was caused by the crumbling state of the city’s century-old pipelines, but also blamed residents, for failing to clean their overhead and underground water tanks.
Asked what steps the municipal corporation was planning to address Mumbaiites’ concerns, he cited a much-delayed new pipeline project, promised weekly reviews by municipal engineers and said he would issue notices and, failing action, register police complaints, against housing societies that did not clean their water tanks.
The HTC fore survey, conducted over Friday and Saturday, surveyed 514 Mumbai residents.