An onslaught of complaints about water contamination in several parts of the city seems to have caught the officials unprepared.
In June, the civic body received around 20 complaints (592 in a month) each day regarding dirty water. The number was nine (298 in a month) in May.
According to civic officials, last month they received the maximum complaints from residents of the island city — 408 as compared to 257 in May. The most are from B ward (Pydhonie, Dongri), C ward (Chandanwadi, Marine Drive), D ward (Malabar Hill, Tardeo) as well as F-north ward (Sion, Matunga).
And the main reason: old water pipes, which need a major overhaul.
While residents from areas such as Pydhonie, Dongri, JJ Marg had lodged only 15 complaints in May, it went up to 86 the next month. Similarly in Fnorth, the number of complaints went up from 8 to 40.
"I have complained to the ward office several times.
The officials told us to boil the water before using, but they did not take our complaints seriously.
The basic provision that any corporation can give is clean drinking water, but the civic body has failed to even do that," said Hema Rao, a Sion resident,
However, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials claimed that they were already working on improving the situation.
"We are flushing out dirty water regularly to ensure that it does not enter the water main network." said a senior civic official from the hydraulic department, as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
Moreover, the BMC does not have a centralised complaint redressal system to register water-related complaints as residents lodge complaints at ward offices, helpline number 1916 or send a text on 9833331916.
This results in many complaints going unattended.
"We are in the process of establishing a call centre to address all complaints related to water leakage, contamination, short supply or illegal connections.
Once it comes into effect, complaints will be registered only on that number and addressed immediately," said AS Tawadia, hydraulic engineer, BMC.