At least 200 of DLF condominium fall ill, water contamination suspected
Chief medical officer of Gurugram Dr Virender Yadav said 96 residents, who had reported symptoms, were given medicines
At least 205 residents of Westend Heights in DLF Phase 5 fell ill over the past three days--the youngest among them being a two-year-old boy, who is currently admitted to hospital for diarrhoea — allegedly after consuming drinking water supplied by the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA).
Chief medical officer of Gurugram Dr Virender Yadav said 96 residents, who had reported symptoms, were given medicines. “We received complaints from 205 residents about the health issues they are facing on Friday. Most of the residents are suffering from nausea and vomiting,” said Yadav. The health department asked the residents to get the water tanks cleaned as a preventive measure.
Taking note of the cases, the Westend Heights condominium association sent a message to all residents on Friday evening asking them to exercise caution while using water for any purpose. “It is highly recommended to not consume orally the tap water, including not to use it for brushing or using precaution while having bath or washing face. Swimming pool is closed for the same reason. Please use bottled drinking water or boiled water only for consumption...until further notice,” said the message.
Residents said the problems started on Wednesday as members of a few families reported nausea and vomiting.The situation worsened on Thursday as more residents fell ill.
Anamika Sagar, a resident of the condominium for the last 14 years, said such an incident has occurred for the first time. “We are suspecting water contamination as despite having a water purifier, we fell ill. We are on antibiotics and ORS,”said Sagar.
Priti Anand, secretary of the residents’ welfare association, said initially, some residents thought they were vomiting and feeling nauseous as a result of eating out or due to food poisoning. “Some thought it was due to a change of weather. But when over half the residents fell ill, it became a matter of concern. Our WhatsApp group started overflowing with messages of people falling sick. We immediately reported the matter to the authorities,” said Anand.
Anand said that more than 150 people are suffering from similar issues and are still on medication. The society is currently dependent on bottled water from its in-house grocery store and residents have asked the shopkeeper to stock up on bottled water.
“We have emptied the water tanks and are getting them cleaned by professionals. This is all we can do on our end,” she said, adding the condition of some of the residents was so bad that they had to take leave from their offices.
There are 380 apartments in the condominium, of which 365 are occupied.
There are several doctors in the society helping the residents with free consultation and medicines. A doctor, who is a resident of the society, said more than 20 residents are consulting him and he has prescribed them medicines. “The condition is bad as even minors have fallen sick. Nausea and vomiting are the common symptoms,” he said.
A team of health officials reached the society on Friday and collected water samples, which have been sent to the lab for testing, and the results are expected to come latest by Tuesday.
Officials of the maintenance agency of the condominium said the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority supplies water to the condominium (GMDA). However, other societies in the area did not report any such issue.
Officials of the GMDA ruled out any problem at their end. Abhinav Verma, executive engineer of GMDA, infra II division, said water supplied by them across the city is not contaminated.
“The issue lies with society. Their internal storage and underground tanks are not cleaned and maintained regularly, which is why the residents are facing health issues. The management has to look into the maintenance of these water tanks. The water being supplied from GMDA pipelines to all corners of Gurugram is completely safe,” he said.
A DLF spokesperson said, “Westend Heights has been handed over to the respective RWA in 2013 (the year the project was completed) and since then, the RWA is maintaining the property. Moreover, potable domestic water is being supplied by GMDA and is being billed directly to the Westend Heights condominium association. The DLF is neither responsible for managing the internal water supply nor external supply through GMDA”.