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Parts of Navi Mumbai go dry as BMC begins 20% water cut

Amid complaints of erratic supply and low water pressure, residents in areas such as Khandeshwar and Kamothe have begun to approach local politicians seeking help.

Written by Gargi Verma | Mumbai |
April 20, 2019 1:31:58 am
People wait to collect drinking water. Express Photo by Pradeep Kumar 

WITH THE BMC implementing a 20 per cent cut in water supply in order to ensure that water in the city’s lakes lasts until the monsoon, parts of Navi Mumbai, where water is supplied by CIDCO, are also facing a shortage. Amid complaints of erratic supply and low water pressure, residents in areas such as Khandeshwar and Kamothe have begun to approach local politicians seeking help.

For 38-year-old Sumati Dhere, the simple chore of daily laundry is now a huge hassle. “I haven’t used my washing machine for a week as there isn’t enough water. We managed with water supplied by tankers all of last week,” the resident of Khandeshwar said.

Not only residential societies, but shops and salons, too, are facing the heat. “I wanted to get my hair cut and went to a high-end salon. But I was turned away, they didn’t have water for the hair wash,” said 24-year-old Chandani Yadav, a resident of Classic Srishti in Khandeshwar.

Although areas around Khandeshwar suffer a water cut in April every year, circumstances this summer are more trying, residents claimed. “Generally, the water cuts are imposed from April and we use up our reserve by May, when we have to get tankers. But this year, water supply dwindled from March, and by the first week of April, we had to call for tankers. From April 5, we have been receiving water for barely a couple of hours through the day,” said Sudhir Rati, a resident of Grandeur building in Kamothe.

Tanker suppliers, who make their profits during this season, said they’re unable to source water. Mangesh Gawli of Sushmita Water Suppliers, said: “We charge Rs 1,500 per vehicle. We cater to our regular customers first before taking new orders,” he said.

A tanker can be ordered only by noon and delivery may be made any time between 9 am and 5 pm the subsequent day, he said. “There is a lot of demand these days, but we ensure that we supply potable water.”

The residents of Neel Plaza believe they may have found a solution to the hassle of ordering tankers. “We contacted Pritam Mhatre, a corporator from Shetkari Kamgar Paksh. He had visited our society a few days ago to campaign for a candidate. He arranged a tanker for us without any hassle,” said resident Ravi Yadav.

He added, “Although Mhatre is not even our ward’s corporator, he helped as it is election time. Several societies in the area have begin contacting local politicians from all parties.”

Mhatre refused to comment on the matter, but one of his aides claimed the party helps societies every year to get water tankers, and that this was not assistance provided only during the election season.

When contacted, CIDCO spokesperson Priya Ratambe conceded that there was a shortfall in water supply but said it has been regulated. “I will have to check what is causing the water shortage in these areas,” she added.

Yash Salvi, another Kamothe resident, said they’re concerned because the summer has just begun. “We don’t know how long we will be able to get tankers. We are already thinking of making an emergency water tank in the society premises,” he added.

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