Do you agree that there is a water contamination problem in the city?
Yes, there is a contamination problem in the city, especially in south Mumbai, as figures show. The key reason behind such contamination, in addition to having old, corroded pipelines, is that these pipelines often pass through narrow house gullies where people throw waste and at times, even sewer lines pass through these gullies, parallel to water pipelines.
Also, private societies should take precautions to ensure that their overhead and underground water tanks are kept clean, to avoid contamination at that level.
What steps is the BMC taking to reduce contamination?
Basically, old and corroded pipes lead to contamination and hence, we will not just be laying new pipelines but also straightening and replacing old ones.
Henceforth, the assistant engineer of each of the 24 wards will take a weekly review of leakages and contamination issues in the ward.
Apart from this, we will try to spread more awareness among citizens by publishing pamphlets about what private societies should do to keep overhead and underground water tanks clean to avoid contamination.
Like in the Bandra incident, which cost one woman her life, what will you do if contamination is found to be originating from a private society’s tanks?
If we find that a private housing society is not cleaning its tanks, we will issue a notice to them, directing them to rectify the problem and clean the tanks within 48 hours. If the society fails to do this, we will go ahead and register a first information report (FIR) with the police.
As there is generally a rise in cases of contamination during the monsoons, what steps do you plan to take to tackle this problem, this year?
Other than routine measures that we take, this year, we will be identifying chronic spots where contamination of water occurs regularly.
In addition to this, we will educate contractors and developers to keep water tanks at construction sites clean as labourers use the same tap for drinking purposes as well as for construction purposes.