The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Wednesday opposed demands for extra supply of water during Eid that will be celebrated this weekend. The demand was made by Samajwadi Party (SP) corporator Rais Shaikh at the standing committee meeting of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
Manoj Kotak, BJP group leader in BMC, said, “Mumbai is about to face water scarcity if we do not receive enough rainfall in July. In such a situation, demand for extra water supply in some pockets will result in scarcity in the rest of the areas. We are completely against this.”
When asked about a similar demand arising during the 10-day Ganesh Chaturthi festival in September, Kotak said he could comment only after taking stock of the water levels. The Sena, however, distanced itself from making a comment on the festival stating that all pockets should get equal supply of water.
Shaikh said, “People in my ward have been facing a lot of water issues for the last few days. My only request is that the administration should provide adequate supply during Eid to all Muslim pockets in the city.” Shaikh is a corporator from M/East ward (Chembur, Govandi), which has a sizeable Muslim population.
The issue came up during the review of lake levels in the city. According to BMC data, the total usable quantity in all seven lakes supplying water to the city stands at 2.8 lakh million litres, which means the city has enough water for the next 74 days. BMC supplies around 3,750 million litres to the city every day.
On Wednesday, corporators from all wards complained of water-cuts and leakages affecting the people’s day-to-day functioning in the last two weeks.
The administration also revealed its doubts on adequate water supply, owing to lack of rainfall in the last two weeks. Officials also indicated a likely water-cut if the situation continued till July-end.
Dr Sanjay Mukherjee, Additional Municipal Commissioner who is in charge of the hydraulic department, said, “The administration has not issued any water-cuts for now. There were a few problems owing to leakages and a power trip in one of the water complexes. However, the issues are being addressed. Lack of rainfall in July is definitely a problematic situation for the city. However, the administration is keeping a close watch on the situation and will take a call in the first week of August.”
Ruckus over hawkers issue
On Wednesday, corporators created a political ruckus on the ongoing issue involving hawkers policy. Opposition leader Devendra Amberkar raised a point of order stating that the BMC was not implementing the Centre’s Street Vending Policy appropriately. He also lashed out at the administration for taking “intensive” action against vendors in the past few months. The point of order was opposed by the ruling parties who patted the administration. The Opposition also raised its voice against the Sena-run Shiv vada pav stalls. Trushna Vishwasrao, leader of the house, said, “We are definitely against the illegal hawkers who come from other states.We will continue to support the Marathi people.”