Water not suitable for drinking found in Westend Heights in DLF 5, RWA contradicts findings

Four days after more than 200 residents of Westend Heights condominium in DLF 5 fell ill, presumably after consuming drinking water supplied by the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA), water samples collected from the company were deemed unsuitable for human consumption, his officials.

However, the Residents’ Welfare Association (RWA) contradicted the findings, saying that according to the report of the test they conducted through a private lab, there was “no trace of bacteria in the water within the community”. The GMDA, for its part, examined the master water pipes leading to the area, but said they found no source of pollution there.

The health department collected the samples on Friday after receiving complaints from more than 200 residents suffering from nausea and vomiting – the youngest among them a two-year-old boy, who was hospitalized for diarrhea. The samples were tested in the Water Bacteriology Laboratory of the Civil Hospital, and the report was released Monday.

According to Dr. Virender Yadav, Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Gurugram, the reports state that water samples collected from the inlet and Tower A are not suitable. “Residents should immediately stop consuming the water for drinking purposes,” he said.

He also said residents were asked to clean the water tanks as a preventative measure.

According to officials from the condominium’s maintenance agency, the GMDA supplies water to the company. However, other companies in the area have so far not reported such a problem.

GMDA officials have meanwhile ruled out any problem at their end. Abhinav Verma, executive engineer, GMDA, Infrastructure 2 Division, said the water they supply across the city is not polluted. “We have been closely monitoring the problem of water pollution, reported by Westend Heights. Our officials are also collecting samples of the water supplied by us to the underground tanks of the company, along with samples of water supplied from their internal storage tanks. “Similarly, samples were collected from nearby communities, from which test results are expected,” he said.

According to Verma, the TDS (total dissolved solids, referring to the amount of minerals, metals, organic matter and salts dissolved in water) value of the water that homes reach within the community is higher than the TDS value of water supplied by Verma. GMDA, indicating that the water may be contaminated by other sources within the society. GMDA master water supply lines leading to the area have been investigated but no source of pollution has been found. “In addition, the lack of disinfection in the stored water can also be a cause,” he said.

GMDA officials said they supply chlorinated water from both the water treatment plants – Basai and Chandu Budhera – to communities and sectors in the area. They also said that it is mandatory for the local authority, developers and RWAs to disinfect the water before supplying it to the residents. GMDA officials said they are working on issuing pollution directives to all consumers to control water.

Residents of the residence want the social services board to handle the situation professionally.

RWA members meanwhile said they strictly adhere to all standards under the National Building Code, 2016, and guidelines for water quality monitoring as prescribed by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

Priti Anand, secretary, RWA, said on Friday she was collecting water samples from 10 sources within the community along with the chief medical officer (CMO). “We tested the samples in an ISO-approved private laboratory. According to the reports, all parameters are good and there is no trace of bacteria in the water within the company. We repeat all tests at two different agencies,” she said.

Anand also claimed that the report of the health department for the water of the society “seemed incomplete”.

“We have received a report of mixed water, which does not seem complete. The CMO report suggests bacterial contamination. Their reports do not show separate pipe well and corporation water. We talked to health officials to give us a detailed report and explain to us about the type of bacteria and what water source problems are, “she said.

Ritu Bhariok, a resident of Tower E, said the Residents’ Welfare Association (RWA) should be held accountable because there is no transparency in its functioning. Despite charging maintenance, the RWA does not get its water tanks cleaned twice a year.

“Unless the source of the problem is found and necessary measures are taken, the problem will probably return. The RWA is trying to cover up the problem by going into technical matters,” she said.

Meanwhile, the developer DLF said it was not responsible for the maintenance of the company.

“Westend Heights was transferred to the RWA in 2013. DLF and its teams have abandoned the project and play no role in the exploitation and supply of water. “DLF is not responsible for managing the internal water supply, nor the external supply through GMDA,” a DLF spokesman said.

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