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When Kerala residents got alcohol from water taps

  • Published at 11:57 pm February 6th, 2020

18 families were shocked when they noticed drinking water from the taps tasted like alcohol

In a bizarre incident in the southern Indian state of Kerala, taps in a residential building in its Thrissur district started to pour foul-smelling mixture of alcohol and water.

According to The News Minute, 18 families were shocked when they noticed drinking water from the taps tasted like alcohol.

The incident that took place in Solomon's Avenue Flat in Chalakkudy, Thrissur, last week, was traced back to excise department's callous destruction of seized illegal alcohol bottles, Manorama Online reported.

According to the report, excise department officials seized around 6,000 litres of alcohol from a shop in the vicinity of the residential building. 

The court had then ordered destruction of the illegal alcohol bottles following which the excise officials disposed the liquor by digging a pit on the bar premises and emptying bottles one after another.

In the bizarre turn of events, the alcohol slowly seeped into the soil and "mixed" with the apartment's open well located next to the dug up pit. The alcohol mixed water was pumped to tanks of the residential building, leading to the shocking outcome.

Apartment complex owner Joshy Maliyekkal says he noticed the alcohol smell when he switched on a motor to fill a water tank outside his home.

“All of a sudden, the pipe started to smell very bad,” he told the New Indian Express. “We were suspicious as to why such a smell was coming from the water drawn from an open well.”

He said locals have been using the well for years and have never had a problem.

Deputy Excise Commissioner TK Sanu has been quoted as saying: “These bottles had been seized from bars whose licenses had been cancelled six years ago. We couldn’t have known that our operation would raise such a stink.”

The Manorama report also noted how officials found themselves “in a spot” and were “struggling to come up with an escape route” after a probe was initiated on the issue.

Chalakudy municipality ward councillor VJ Joji has been quoted saying that alternative water-supply arrangements have been made for the affected families. “These families had been using water from the contaminated well for several years. It was their only water source.”