Setting an example,Matheran Hill Station Municipal Council (MHSMC) has issued notices to stop all construction activity to save water. Residents and developers have been asked to stop construction and repair works until the two resources supplying water to the tourist town fill up.
We have also asked horse-owners who carry raw material to stop supply. This will ensure no construction activity takes place for a few months, said Sudam Dhupe,chief executive,MHSMC.
Matheran,declared an ecosensitive region by the environment and forest ministry,has a population of 5,139 but attracts about 20,000 tourists during summer and monsoon months. Located about 90 km from Mumbai and 120 km from Pune,it has over 40 major tourist attractions.
The town receives water from Charlotte lake and Ulhas river.
The city needs about 15 lakh litres of water per day but supplier Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran (MJP) has been releasing only half the quota since March.
Officials said about 62 per cent of water supplied to the town was for commercial use.
We are supplying only 8 lakh litres per day as there is water scarcity. With the tourist season set to begin,it will be difficult to meet the increased demand for water, said K N Sirse,executive engineer,MJP.
Increasing commercial activity in the town has increased illegal construction. The growing number of tourists has led to an increase in construction activity which has put pressure on infrastructure,especially water supply, said an MHSMC official. We had to stop all construction activity to ensure citizens get drinking water.
Many residents who run homestays carry out repairs during tourist season. Extensions are built to hotels for convenience of tourists, said Dhupe.