Millennium Post

KMC to crack down on unsafe water vending machines

Kolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has decided to crack down on the rampant installation of water vending machines in different parts of the city.

The decision comes in the wake of reports of people suffering from water-borne diseases, particularly in the added areas of the city.

The companies that set up such machines for their promotional advertisement provide cold drinking water

but hardly take up maintenance of these facilities and as a

result the water quality deteriorates after a certain period of time.

"The respective local councillors will keep an eye on such water machines. The companies which will install such machines will have to sign an MoU with the Water Supply department of KMC, stating that they will have to carry out periodical maintenance of these machines at least for a period of five years. We cannot compromise with the quality of drinking water," said Mayor Firhad Hakim.

It may be mentioned that waterborne diseases like jaundice and diarrhea break out at a few pockets in the city every year. Baghajatin and its adjacent areas have witnessed some people getting affected by jaundice recently.

The KMC had tested both their underground and overground water supply pipelines and did not find any contamination there. They believe that packaged water or water from other sources might have contributed to the disease.

The deep tubewells in the city, particularly in the added areas, is another cause of worry with as many as 132 tubewells out of a total of 369 in the city being located in Borough X of the civic body.

"We are increasing the capacity of our water treatment plants at Garden Reach and Dhapa. A capsule booster pumping station is coming up at ward 99 to ensure that potable drinking water reaches the tail end," Hakim said.

Last month, some cases of jaundice were reported from ward 99, 100 and 92. The KMC had collected water samples from various sources in these wards and coliform bacteria were found in a number of samples. However, the KMC has not been able to detect the actual problematic source of water that resulted in jaundice.

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