Corporators fight water wars,say why split city

A day after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation announced that water shortage would continue for the next two years...

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Published:January 4, 2009 4:11 am

Urge the BMC to supply water on the basis of population density in an area,and not on geographical divisions

A day after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) announced that water shortage would continue for the next two years,corporators in BMC standing committee meeting on Friday said that water distribution should be done keeping in mind the population density.

“We don’t understand why Mumbai is divided as city,western suburbs and eastern suburbs. We don’t want this differentiation. Even development work happens keeping this division in mind. Census in 2001 showed that the city has a population of 33 lakh people while western suburbs has a population of 50 lakh. Considering these facts,we want water distribution that collaborates with the population density,” said Sameer Desai,a Congress corporator and a standing committee member.

To ensure that water is distributed equally in all the wards,corporators demanded to install flow meters in each zone. “Flow meters will show exactly how much water is distributed in each zone. This will also help the administration in quashing differences in distribution,” said Desai.

Corporators also urged the civic body to bring back vigilance squad,which will check water thefts. This proposal was tabled in 2006,but for some reason it is in cold storage. “More than 40 per cent of water is lost due to leakages and the water mafia. Though we know water mafia operates in city,no proper investigation is done. We seriously need to address this issue,” said NCP corporator Miyaz Wanu. “We need to have a vigilance squad which will keep a check on such unscrupulous acts,” Wanu said.

Saying that taxpayers get a raw deal because of water theft,Jogeshwari corporator Rajul Patel demanded a strict action against the water mafia in the city. “The water mafia strike on water pipes and a lot of water is lost. The taxpayers then have to bear the brunt. We need a proper body to act against these acts,” said Patel.

The BMC stated that it would consider the demands. “We will take action against all illegal pipelines in a month. We will also appoint vigilance squads,” said RavindraWaikar,chairman,standing committee. “We will have timely survey in each ward to monitor the distribution of water in the city,” said Waikar. The civic body will also install magnetic water meters in each zone. Each zone is expected to get 1,000 water meters.

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