Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Poor quality drinking water for slums, high quality for posh localities: This is how Hyderabadis are treated by HMWS&SB

Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: The quality of drinking water supplied by the
Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board differs from
area to area in twin cities with the posh localities getting water
almost without any bacterial contamination.

A study conducted by the Regional Centre for Urban and Environmental
Studies, Osmania University, revealed that bacterial contamination was
maximum in areas with low socio-economic conditions (SEC), followed by
intermediate SEC and high SEC localities. As many as 52 per cent of
water samples from low SEC areas had dangerous coliform bacteria as
against 40 per cent in intermediate SEC and 10 per cent in high SEC

The OU team comprising Syed Azeem Unnisa and Bhupatthi Rao collected
about 50 water samples from high SEC areas like Banjara Hills, Jubliee
Hills, Raj Bhavan, Hitech City, Begumpet, and DRDL, intermediate SEC
areas like Dilsukhnagar, Pathergatti, Abids, Secunderabad, and
Kukatpally and low SEC areas like Bholakpur, Talab Katta, Chatrinaka,
Makhta Krishna Nagar, and Yousufguda. Of the 50 samples, 20 samples
(40 per cent) tested positive for bacterial contamination.

The findings were published in the prestigious international peer
review journal, the
Journal of Chemical, Biological and Physical Sciences. “The difference
was found to be statistically significant between areas with high and
low SEC while it was non-significant between areas with low and
intermediate SEC. Bacterial contamination is significant problem in
Hyderabad. These findings indicate that over last couple of years
there appears to be deterioration in the water supply system in
Hyderabad. It is also observed that there is progressive increase in
the frequency of contaminated water samples from areas with High SEC
to Low SEC,” they pointed out.

HMWS&SB general manager (quality assurance and testing) KS Narsappa said
though water is supplied to posh localities and slums from the same storage
reservoirs, the post source contamination is more in slums as water
and drainage lines
are laid side by side and also crisscross in several areas.

“The roads in upmarket areas are 40 to 60 feet wide and water line and
drainage lines are laid separately on either side of the road. The
water and drainage infrastructure is planned in colonies. However, in
slums, all lines of water, drainage and storm are laid side by side in
three-foot narrow lanes. Then this infrastructure is laid after total
haphazard development of slums,” he said.

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