The Bombay high court, on Tuesday, directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to inpect a slum rehabilitation project site at Worli where two pregnant women died by consuming allegedly contaminated water last year.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by two locals, Siddharth Khandagale and Rajnish Kamble who alleged that the two pregnant women, Vrushali Pawar, 26, and Kavita Aitala, 23, died in February and March 2010 respectively, after drinking contaminated water. The also alleged that nearly 400 residents of the locality were suffering from Jaundice at the time.
Their PIL contended that while the buildings that would be sold after construction receiving safe drinking water, pipelines providing water to the transit accommodation and to the buildings that would house rehabilitated slum dwellers passed through sewer, which resulted in water contamination.
A division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice RP Sondurbaldota directed BMC counsel Geeta Jogalekar to submit a report after the site inspection in which the corporation must clarify whether the builder – MY Lokhandwala Shelters – had taken appropriate precautions to prevent the contamination of drinking water. The deadline to submit the report is July 18.
During the site inspection, the BMC will check if the developer made necessary changes in the drainage line and to the pipeline that supplied water to the temporary accommodation provided to project-affected persons.
Moreveor, the BMC had also issued a notice to the developer after the PIL was filed. In its notice, the BMC alleged that the water and drainage pipelines were not properly laid, which resulted in the contamination of water supplied to the transit accommodation and to the buildings that would house rehabilitated slum dwellers. Taking note of this allegation, the court has also asked the BMC to check the exact distance between the water and drainage pipes. Jogalekar assured the court that assistant engineer of the water works department of the concerned ward will visit the place and accordingly submit the report to the court.