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Now,security guards for water pipelines in city

In a bid to ensure the city’s vulnerable 400-km pipelines are not further encroached,the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation...

Written by Dhanya Nair | Mumbai |
May 13, 2009 3:43:59 am

In a bid to ensure the city’s vulnerable 400-km pipelines are not further encroached,the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has appointed a security company which will be responsible for the protection of the pipelines. As per the plan,retaining walls and fences will be constructed and guards will be deployed to secure the pipelines.

Water pipelines from Mulund to Powai,from Powai to Bandra via Dharavi and Sahar,from Powai to Sion via Ghatkopar and from Mulund to Sion on the Eastern express highway will be protected by a joint venture of BVG (India) Limited and Crystal Tradecom private limited. These companies will secure the pipelines at a cost of Rs 68 crore for a period of two years.

The move has come after the Bombay High Court slammed the civic body for its inability to secure the pipelines which are encroached by 25,000 slum-dwellers with 15,000 legal hutments. A Newsline report titled “Dangerous pipe dream” in 2006 highlighted how over 33,000 people — many with ration cards—- were living in shanties on the pipelines which bring water to the metropolis and are therefore meant to be heavily guarded by the BMC’s 3,000-strong security force. The report prompted a PIL in the High Court.

“There have been a lot of PILs filed in the court to curb the menace of illegal encroachments. The BMC cannot maintain each and every pipeline. Hence,we have outsourced the job,” said chief hydraulic engineer,SS Korlekar. “Our main idea is to protect the municipal property belonging to the hydraulic department. Hence,we will also soon start the process of manning the main reservoirs and gardens also.”

The number of security guards for each pipeline will be decided as per the requirement and the length of pipelines. The civic body will start the survey in each ward and clean up the encroachments before deploying the guards. “The work is expected to start in another two weeks,” said Korlekar.

Officials also stated that the guards will have to coordinate with the ward officers,but in case of any default,the contractors will be penalised.

Scarce water
The city is losing about 13%— 700MLD of water— owing to thefts and leakages. Mumbai needs 4450 MLD of water whereas the BMC can supply 3,350 MLD of water. We are deficient of 11 00 MLD of water in the city.

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