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    Published On : Sat, Jun 24th, 2017

    Empress City ‘lucky’ residents get drinking water that is not fit for even bathing!

    Nagpur: This is a fact that even the builder’s representative, Mr. Waghmare, who was invited to  attend the press conference held by Empress City Flat owners’ Association  on Thursday agrees on:

    • There is no NMC water connection yet given to the “classiest apartments for a lavish life style” namely Empress City. (Having potable water connection is perhaps, in their definition, not necessary for a lavish life style. People with such life styles are may be meant to drink and bathe using Bisleri. Like the French Queen had famously asked ” why eat bread when you can have cake?”)
    • The only source of water for residents of the 60 to 70 occupied flats is a very badly maintained open well.
    • This well not just has construction material and other debris falling into it from above but also polluted water seeping into it from the Gandhi Sagar lake which is very close. Remember every year, hundreds of POP and Clay Ganpatis with toxic colours are immersed in this lake?
    • According to Pawan Jain, President of the Association, tds – total dissolved solids – in this well water can go upto 900.
    • According to norms, tds should not be below a certain level ( 100) and above (600) at the maximum. To quote from WHO ” maximum TDS obtained by RO filter should not cross 500 ppm and for health purposes, it should be under 75 ppm.” ROs are basically installed to reduce this tds of water, but with the kind of water that Empress gets, ROs do not work either.
    • This is not just because of the quantity of dissolved substance but the quality of this substance. As mentioned above, the Gandhi Sagar lake not just has a lot of filth flowing into it but also dissolved remnants of Ganpatis immersed in it since many, many years.

    Agreeing that this well water was not ‘safe’ the builder’s representative said that a new well has been constructed and “shortly residents could get water from it”. (With a number of conditions applied of course!)

    When Waghmare was asked in the presence of journalists if he would drink water from this new well himself, he replied cryptically :

    “Why should I drink any water available at Empress city? My employer supplies us with ‘Bisleri cans’ to drink from!”

    What a travesty it is that in a city whose distinction is that  “pure drinking water is available for citizens 24*7 and Nagpur is the FIRST city in India to offer this” residents whose flats have costed them minimum Rs. one crore do not get drinking water from NMC! Or any other water for that matter.

    “The water that flows in our pipes is not safe even for bathing, brushing our teeth etc. Most of us are suffering from skin problems and falling hair” said Jain.

    When the flat owners approached the NMC for water connection, they were told categorically that till outstanding water dues are not cleared they will not get connection.

    On inquiring what the outstanding dues are, they were told – over Rs. 50 crores!

    How could the builder have such a huge outstanding due is a moot question. Probably it is from the water they used while construction of Empress Mall buildings and residential flats too. (So pure water was used for construction of buildings and now the connection has been cut when the buildings are populated by the Customers who bought them at a premium!)

    When  this conundrum  between the builder, residents and NMC is solved is to be seen but people, real people are suffering.

    Why this is OK with city administration, the city fathers and Health inspectors of NMC in a city that they want to make ‘smart’ is a very dumb question!

    We shall not ask it.

    —Sunita Mudaliar (Executive Editor)

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