The death of two pregnant women due to jaundice contracted after drinking contaminated water has upset the Bombay high court, which on Wednesday pulled up the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corp-oration (BMC) for depriving citizens of their right to clean drinking water.
Rapping the municipal commissioner for water contamination, justice PB Majmudar said: “Ask your commissioner if he will drink [a] glass of impure water,” he told the corporation’s representatives.
The women, Vrushali Pawar, 26, and Kavita Aitala, 23, residents of a Worli slum had died of jaundice in April 2010. A public interest litigation claimed that they had taken ill after drinking contaminated water.
“Citizens cannot be allowed to die. It is the duty of the BMC to monitor all illegal water connections in Mumbai and disconnect them,” justice Majmudar said. “We are worried… we also consume this water every day.”
On August 6, 2010, the Hindustan Times had reported that water contamination in Mumbai had increased from 13% in 2008-2009 to 26% in 2010 according to the BMC’s environmental assessment report.
Four months later, in Decem-ber 2010, the HT got 10 water samples from across Mumbai tested and found that six had bacteria that can cause stomach, intestinal and eye infections.