About 5,000 families living in Pydhonie have been receiving contaminated water for the last one week, causing considerable unrest in the area. The 20,000-odd residents have even launched a signature drive and the local mosque has appealed to locals to join the drive.
Sayed Mehboob, a local activist, who is heading the agitation, said the residents are fed up with the problem. “Everyday, we get blackish water, which has a pungent odour. Forget drinking the water, it is not even fit for bathing or washing clothes,” added Mehboob.
Already, more than 4,000 people have signed the petition asking for corrective action and they plan to protest in a big way if things don’t improve. Areas like Ali Umer Street, Baniyan Street and Kazi Street have been facing the problem for the last six months, but now the problem has aggravated.
However Salim Chouhan, husband of local corporator Gulshan Chouhan, blames the residents for their plight. “It is the responsibility of the residents to replace their water pipelines. It is not the civic body’s job,” said Chouhan. “The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) should issue notices to the residents to replace pipelines or just disconnect their water connections.”
But, the residents are not ready to take blame for the problem. Ibrahim Tai, president of the Muslim Council of India, who resides at Salim Mansion, said, “How can we residents change pipelines that are below the ground? It is our right as citizens to get clean drinking water.”
Local legislator Amin Patel came out in support of the residents, calling it unfair to burden them with the cost of changing pipelines. At present, the locals are using mineral water, which is financially not viable for a long time.
Assistant Municipal Commissioner (C-ward) Chanda Jadhav said she has sent engineers to survey the area and work on replacing old distribution pipelines has already started. “The water lines are close to the sewage lines and they pass through house gullies. There is a high possibility of contamination due to leakages here,” said Jadhav.
The residents, however, claim that the water is contaminated at the entry level itself.