Left high & dry, a month and counting

Slums on hills get water for 20 mins in 3 days.

Residents of Varsha Nagar in Vikhroli share one tap between two families.  ( Source: Express photo by Kevin DSouza ) Residents of Varsha Nagar in Vikhroli share one tap between two families. ( Source: Express photo by Kevin DSouza )
Written by Tanushree Venkatraman | Mumbai | Published on:July 30, 2014 2:25 am

By: Abhisvara Sinha

With inadequate rainfall in June, the city continues to face a 20 per cent water cut imposed by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) a month ago. However, those who face the maximum brunt of water scarcity are people residing in hilly areas of the city, at the extreme end of the water supply lines of the civic body. Residents from Varsha Nagar in Vikhroli (west) and slum dwellers of the Shivaji Nagar area in Malad (east) receive water for less than half an hour, once every three days for the past one month.

“For the last one month, we have been receiving water for 20 minutes once in three days. We share one water tap between two families. Now that the quantity is so less, we can hardly fill half a drum, which is not adequate even for drinking,” Jyoti Nageshwankade, a resident of Varsha Nagar, told Newsline.

With a family of nine to take care of, Jyoti is forced to walk 2 kms downhill everyday to fill water from a well. “During elections, we get three water tankers everyday. Now that we are struggling to have even drinking water, no politician even bothers to help us,” claimed Jyoti.

One of the five slums situated on the hilltop, near Amrut Nagar area in Ghatkopar, used to get water for five hours till the end of June, between 5 and 10 in the evening. With the BMC imposing a water cut, they get water for just 20-30 minutes. The timing changes every 15 days. “The residents of Rahul Nagar and Shivaji Nagar get water once in four days, while another area in the vicinity, the Trilok Housing Society, gets water once in eight days. The BMC continues to be unsympathetic to their situation,” said corporator Dilip Lande from the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena.

Darsheeta Thakar, a resident of Shivaji Nagar in Malad, said, “In our block, three families share a water tap. We get water between 10 am and noon. After the civic body imposed a water cut, the duration and quantity have reduced drastically.”

A resident from the nearby Vitthal Rukmani Nivas, Priya Doshi, said, “For the past one month, we have been getting water for only 20 minutes. Apart from the quantity being insufficient, timings change every day, affecting our routine.”

BJP corporator from Malad, Ram Barot, said, “People living on the hills have been facing the same problem for years now. We have lost the count of the number of times we have raised the issue with BMC officials. No concrete steps have been taken till date.”

With very little water to use, residents claim they are forced to take bath on alternate days. “We clean the house one day, wash dishes the next …continued »

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