NEW DELHI: Complaints of contaminated water being supplied to homes in Delhi have gone up by 11,000 even as the number of patients with symptoms of water-borne diseases has spiked in the city’s hospitals.
Last year, 22,227 complaints were received by the Delhi Jal Board, while this year the number has jumped to 33,884. Officials blame the poor quality of water on the rise of the ammonia level in the Yamuna. “As you know, there has been a rise in the ammonia content in the Yamuna. Our treatment plants are already working at full capacity and can treat only a certain level of ammonia,” a senior DJB official said.
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Doctors say the number of cases of water-borne diseases has risen in the past two months. “Earlier, there were sporadic cases of water-borne diseases such as typhoid, cholera and diarrhoea. For the last few months there has been a steep rise. We do not have exact figures, but surely there is a rise,” said Dr Megha Brijwal of the virology department at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
Citizens too are voicing their concerns. “For the past two months, the water in our taps is literally brown in colour. No amount of boiling and filtering is helping,” said 35-year-old Jaan Bibi, a resident of Jamia Nagar who had brought her five-year-old son for treatment at AIIMS.
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Even the so-called upmarket areas of the city have not been spared. Residents of Kalkaji have complained of poor quality water being supplied. “Water-borne diseases have not spread in our area. But that is only because we buy mineral water even for daily use. It is expensive, but we don’t have a choice. It is better to be safe than sorry,” said J Kumar, a 24-year-old software engineer.