Sixteen activists of NGO Swabhiman,an outfit led by Congress leader Narayan Ranes son Nitesh,were arrested on Saturday after they vandalised private water tankers in Dadar area.
They have been charged with unlawful assembly and other sections for breaching public peace and stone-pelting. The statements of witnesses are being taken, an officer from the Shivaji Park police said.
The protestors alleged that private tankers were selling water from a pond in the India United Mill compound commercially which was wrong. The tankers would sell the pond water,which led to water level reduction in the area and affected the neighbouring housing societies. Moreover,it was wrong on their part to use pond water for selling it commercially, said Agnelo Fernandes,Mumbai president,Swabhiman Sanghatana.
He said the action was taken after the society people complained to their NGO.
To cope up with the water shortage,the society had constructed a ring well. But withdrawal of water in large quantity from the mill pond,located in the neighbouring compound,caused the ground level water of the well dip to 12 feet, Fernandes said.
Swabhiman Sanghatana had earlier blackened face of a civic official over the issue of water shortage in the city and also carried out a dharna during which one person was killed.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation is in process of reviving ponds in mill land to make optimum usage of water in the current crisis situation. The water can be used for non-potable purpose or the tanks can be used as reserves during monsoon.