Vijayawada: Residents of 32nd division fear to consume VMC water

Challenge municipal authorities to drink discoloured tap water; VMC chief promises prompt action if the problem is brought to his notice
Discoloured water drawn from municipal taps in 32nd division
Discoloured water drawn from municipal taps in 32nd divisionPhoto I Express

VIJAYAWADA: As concerns mount among the citizens of Vijayawada due to a surge in diarrhea cases, reportedly resulting in 10 fatalities and leaving many others ill, residents of the 32nd division are voicing their fear of consuming municipal water.

They challenge municipal authorities to drink the tap water supplied to their area, alleging it is contaminated and discoloured, causing widespread illness.

Residents from Ramalingeswarapet, Ayodhya Nagar, Shanti Nagar, Basavataraka Nagar, Donka Road, and Lotus Land in the 32nd division have reported severe health issues due to the drinking water supplied by the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) over the past few years.

Despite numerous complaints, they claim that no officials have responded positively to address the issue of discolored water in their areas.

Speaking with TNIE, T Padmavathi of Ramalingeswara Peta, stated, “The water from the taps is contaminated in almost all of the 32nd division limits. The water is yellow and has a bad odour. Despite several complaints to the VMC authorities, they took it lightly and suggested we boil the water before consuming it. We have been experiencing this for years, but the officer have been blind to our plight. Several people in our division have fallen ill with diarrhea to the contamination of drinking water provided by the VMC through taps. I challenge any VMC official to drink a tumbler of municipal water from our area. I appeal to the municipal commissioner to visit our area personally to see the facts hidden by the lower-level officials and staff.”

Sk Makkabul from Shanti Nagar expressed his frustration, “Commissioner sir, is this drinking water? Can humans drink such discoloured water from municipal taps? Kindly supply purified drinking water through the pipeline for us to drink.”

In a surprising act of defiance, women from this area sent back the water tanker provided by the VMC as a temporary relief measure. Mannala Aruna from Donka Road asserted, “We don’t want tanker water as a temporary relief. We need a permanent solution to the tap water issue. If the government fails to address this, we will stage a protest with people from across the city facing similar problems. Whenever the issue arises, the VMC authorities provide temporary relief and then do not pursue the issue to resolve it permanently.”

Tenali Prabhudas, a resident of the 32nd division, explained that people in their area have been suffering from fever, diarrhea and vomiting due to consuming municipal tap water, which is pale yellow on some days and mud-coloured on others.

“No officer is responding to our pleas to resolve the issue. Now, we are afraid because of the latest news about deaths in the city from diarrhea caused by contaminated municipal water,” he said.

He demanded that VMC Commissioner Swapnil Dinakar Pundkar address their division’s drinking water issue promptly.

Commissioner Swapnil Dinakar Pundkar responded, stating that citizens need not panic as none of the deaths can be attributed directly to water pollution and assured that the water issues in the city would be resolved within 16 hours.

The Commissioner urged victims to bring the issue to his notice so that appropriate action could be taken to resolve it as early as possible based on the severity of the issue.

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