A thirsty underbelly

Friday, December 02, 2016
By Aishwarya Nair

A special committee taps into a sad situation in Mumbai. While cash rich localities make do by paying exorbitant amounts and organizing private water tankers for their daily water needs, the poor dwellers of slum pockets in Colaba are struggling to receive even the drops that are allotted to them by the BMC. Afternoon D&C follows the trickled down trail to see how the water mafia has left our underbelly thirsty.

A team of five experts from the special water committee, appointed by the Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta, examined the water supply in the slum pockets of Colaba on Wednesday (November 30). Their findings revealed that these slums get less than 50 percent water supply compared to the population that resides there.

Afternoon D&C had reported in its November 28, the issue of the special committee's probe in the slum pockets of the city to ensure adequate supply of water. This issue was brought to notice by  area councillor Raj K. Purohit. The survey was conducted in Cuffe Parade which includes Geeta Nagar, Ganesh Murti Nagar and Ambedkar Nagar.  

“The committee found out that private tankers of the area are taking a larger share of water supplied by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). The BMC has managed to install water taps in all the houses, but due to the water mafia, these taps run dry for the dwellers,” said Amit Kule, assistant to Raj Purohit. The committee also decided to increase the width of pipeline from 9 inches to 12 inches.

The report prepared by this committee will be presented to a higher committee later in a meeting held to discuss further solutions.

Earlier this year, BMC faced criticism over partial supply of water in the city. The criticism was followed by the complaint of  Purohit. Reportedly,  Mumbai distributes around 33,750 million liters per day (mld) of water on a daily basis. However, as per the criticisms, the BMC  supplies more than adequate amount of water in high class areas barring the slum pockets of the city like Kandivali, Antop Hill, Jogeshwari and Colaba. Following this, Mehta had formed a special water committee to probe this issue.

The BMC has managed to install water taps in all the slum houses, but due to the water mafia, these taps run dry for the dwellers.
— Amit Kule, Assistant to Raj Purohit

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