Residents of a few buildings in Churchgate raised concerns over the construction of Metro 3, as their water supply turned “muddy” on Wednesday. They alleged that a polymer used by contractors during piling work has contaminated the water supply.
Ketan Mehta, a resident of Lotus Court, said, “The MMRC contractors broke the water supply pipe on Wednesday and we started receiving muddy water. We suspected that the sewage water was getting mixed with the supply. Then we realised that at another point, the chemical they were using was also getting mixed with our water. It has been over a day now and they have still not addressed the issue.”
Meanwhile, the staff of the contractor, L&T-STEC JV, said the water supply pipe already a crack, through which the muck had entered the pipeline.
A staff member, requesting anonymity, said, “The supply was not contaminated by sewage water, it was only muck. We immediately got the tanks cleaned and have provided them a water tanker, along with separate mineral water for drinking. As far as the contamination by polymer is concerned, it could be possible that some traces have entered the supply. But prima facie it seems unlikely.”
Not satisfied with the cleaning by the contractor, the residents conducted a second cleaning of the water tanks. Mehta said, “We can clean the tanks but how do we clean the pipes?.” While polymer is non-toxic, it may cause irritation if it comes in contact with skin or eyes.
The contractors have also temporarily cut the water and sewage lines of the adjacent building, Moti Mahal, for “utility shifting”. One of the contractor’s staff said, “It is only for three days. During this time, we will be supplying 30,000 litres of water by tanker to the building. The sewage line has been diverted.”
Residents complained of a foul stench from the construction site. “We have been bearing with the stink for almost two weeks,” said Ashwin Nagpal, a resident of Moti Mahal.
A spokesperson from MMRC said, “During piling work at Churchgate Metro station, an underground sewer drain started leaking due to puncturing. Unfortunately, at the same location, MCGM ‘s water pipeline, though unaffected by Metro 3 work, had leakages in its joints. This contaminated the water supply of the two of the neighbouring buildings for sometime. But the sewer line was immediately blocked by the Metro contractor, which prevented further contamination. Water supply has been now restored and all issues of residents have been resolved to their satisfaction.”