It was supposed to be a normal day for the residents of Solomon’s Avenue Flat near KSRTC bus stand at Chalakudy in Kerala's Thrissur district. But the residents were in for a shock on Monday morning when they opened the taps as the water smelt similar to alcohol.
The residents checked with one another and found that the situation was the same in all the flats in the building.
Speculations on how alcohol got mixed with the water in the tank spread, and people tried to find out what has gone wrong. Their search led to a bunch of excise sleuths whose attempt to destroy seized liquor had gone horribly wrong, leading to a strange situation.
The officials found themselves in a spot over the issue and are struggling to come up with an escape route.
A bar named 'Rachana' was located near the apartment. Around 6,000 litres of unlawfully stored liquor was seized from the bar around six years ago. After the case proceedings, the court gave the go-ahead to destroy the alcohol.
The officials initially did not have an idea about how to destroy the liquor. Finally, they decided that as the alcohol was seized from the bar, it should be be disposed of on the same land.
A huge pit was dug on the bar premises. Each bottle of the seized liquor was uncorked and poured into it. It took a long time to dispose of 6,000 litres in this manner. The task that was started by 2pm was over only by 8pm.
Neighbours' spirit trouble
A well, from which the residents drew water, was located close to the periphery of the bar property. When the liquor was poured into the pit, it seeped through the soil and entered the well on the nearby property and got mixed with the water. This water was pumped into the tank, triggering the trouble.
The excise sleuths rushed to the spot and promised the families that they would resolve the issue. They suggested cleaning the well and supplying drinking water to the families until the well is cleaned. But the residents refused to withdraw the complaint they had filed and sought action against the erring officers.
The residents filed complaints with the Chalakudy municipal secretary and health department, seeking action against the excise officials.
A probe has already begun into the issue.