Two days after Hindustan Times reported that contamination levels in Mumbai’s potable water had doubled over last year, the state government has appointed an expert panel to study the situation and suggest how contamination can be checked at every stage.
“We have a project being conducted at the state level on river cleaning and we have asked the same experts to look at how Mumbai’s [potable water] problem can be tackled,” said state Health and Environment Minister Suresh Shetty.
Shetty met the team of consultants from SFC Environmental Technologies on Friday.
“The main problem in Mumbai as we see it is that the sewage lines run parallel to the old water pipelines,” said Sandeep Asolkar, a wastewater management expert and managing director of SFC. “The sewage also seeps through different sources into the groundwater, causing contamination there.”
As part of his study, Asolkar has been asked to meet civic representatives and visit sites along the water pipelines and around the city’s reservoirs.
“There has to be an integrated approach to lessening contamination,” Asolkar agreed.
The BMC on Saturday appealed to citizens to purify or boil water before drinking it.
HT had on Friday had reported how the BMC’s Environment Status Report showed that impurity levels had risen to 26 per cent this year, from 13 per cent in 2008-09.
This contaminated water can cause gastroenteritis, typhoid and jaundice.