But it's not the dream scenario you're imagining.

By Jelisa Castrodale
Updated February 07, 2020

An apartment complex where the faucets run with a seemingly endless stream of beer and liquor sounds like something from the set of the kind of reality show where the participants are never seen in anything but swimwear. But it's also the surprisingly awful situation that residents of an apartment building in southern India found themselves in this week. 

Joshy Maliakkal told CNN that he'd lived in the Solomon's Avenue Apartments for 47 years, but he'd never encountered anything like what he saw on Monday. "When we switched on the water motor, brown water flowed from our taps," he said. "When we went to check the tank, we saw there was an oil-like film floating on the surface and a stench was emanating from it." 

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The residents soon learned that Kerala state officials were the reason why a decidedly stank combination of rum and brandy was running out of their faucets. Several years ago, excise officers seized 6,000 liters (1,585 gallons) of illegally stored booze from a bar that was located near the apartment building. The case has stalled in the court system, but a judge recently gave the OK for all of that beer and liquor to be destroyed. 

The officials all agreed that they should dispose of the alcohol on the bar's property, so they dug a large pit and emptied every single confiscated bottle into it, a tedious process that took six hours to complete. 

What they didn't know is that their liquor hole (or whatever) was near a well that serviced the apartment complex, and they didn't anticipate all of the alcohol slowly seeping through the soil and contaminating the building's water supply. The entire situation is problematic, mostly because that now-spiked well was the only source of potable water that the residents could access. 

"We have been providing drinking water to the affected families for the past two days with the help of the Chalakkudy municipality," deputy excise commissioner T.K. Sanu told the Times of India earlier this week. "We cleaned the well eight times. We will provide drinking water to the affected families until the matter gets resolved." (He has described the situation as a "lapse on the part of officials," not a deliberate attempt to sabotage the building.) 

Despite one group of government employees' attempts to undo what another group of government employees did, Maliakkal says that it's not enough. “It affected life in the apartment. Children had to skip classes and their parents stayed back because of the lack of water. Since I am the co-owner, I too had to take leave for two days to sort out the issue," he told The Telegraph

Some residents believe that it could take another month to fully clean the well, which means that the authorities will have to keep giving them water until then. Maliakkal says that he has filed a complaint with the police department, and investigators have already visited the building.

"Those who think it is fun should experience the situation," he said. " We are trying to pump out all the water from the well. But it still reeks of alcohol."

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