The latest civic data shows that on an average 30 Mumbaiites have been admitted to civic hospitals for gastroenteritis treatment every day this month alone.
In March, this figure was 36; the daily average for jaundice was 12 hospital admissions. Both diseases are waterborne and the high rate of incidence underlines the problem of contaminated water supply faced across the city.
Last week, Hindustan Times reported how south Mumbai had the maximum number of contamination complaints in the last financial year — 3,373 of a total of 4,351. Last December, Hindustan Times collected samples from 10 housing societies across the city and got them tested at the civic laboratory. Six of the 10 samples were unfit for consumption.
The statistics don’t tell the whole story. A senior civic doctor said on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media: “The civic data is only an indicator. Apart from those admitted to civic hospitals, hundreds preferred private sources of medical care.”
Civic executive health officer Dr Gourish Ambe said water contamination was not the only culprit. “Many people drink soft drinks sold by street vendors. The water used in them is suspect,” he said.