NHRC issued notice over the poor quality of water supplied to residents at Wembley Estate, Gurgaon. With over 300 residents, the township was supplied with water by the HUDA organization.
One fine morning, they found that their drinking water was contaminated with blood worms and few weeks before they even found snails in the water. Because of this many people have fallen in the township. The reason for their entry into the water tanks is still unknown.
"We discovered red thread-like worms on August 22 and 23. We stopped using the water and immediately complained to the township's estate manager. While we didn't see the worms for four-five days, the problem resurfaced on August 29," said Pragya Agarwal, a resident.
Though it is not certain if illnesses were indeed caused because of the worms, some children in the township suffered vomiting and stomach upsets in the past one week.
"My 10-year-old son was complaining of stomachache for the last three days. On Thursday, he vomited in the school and was sent home immediately. Doctors said he has an upset stomach because of consumption of either contaminated food or water. When we found bloodworms in the water on Saturday, we realized that it might have happened because of this," said another resident.
Bloodworms are small larvae like features that are one inch size. They generally appear red in color due to the presence of hemoglobin. They cannot be killed or prevented to enter the water tanks simply by disinfection.
"Though bloodworms are harmless, their existence definitely deteriorates the quality of the drinking water. They can cause allergies, especially among children and expecting mothers. The symptoms of such allergies are general illness, mild fever, rashes, ache, cough and/or diarrhea," said Dr Rusha Sethi, a microbiologist.
"Existence of any type of worm can reduce the oxygen content in the water, thus deteriorating its quality," said Dr V K Thapar, deputy civil surgeon, vector-borne diseases.
"The first time the problem occurred, we got our overhead tanks cleaned. Now, as residents are facing the issue again, we will get our underground tanks cleaned as well. We have also brought it to the notice of HUDA," said Subhash Chandra, manager, Wembley Estate.