Tankers cash in on wa­ter short­age, res­i­dents protest ex­tra charges

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - Tas­neem Kausar ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hind­su­tan­times.com

Wa­ter tankers are much in de­mand in the city owing to the short­age of wa­ter sup­ply in sev­eral ar­eas. In or­der to en­sure that such ar­eas have an al­ter­na­tive, wa­ter tankers are used to sup­ply wa­ter from where it is avail­able to where it is re­quired.

Re­al­is­ing t hat t he ser­vice is very cru­cial, both City and In­dus­trial De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (Cidco) and NMMC have made pro­vi­sions for it. How­ever, sev­eral pri­vate con­trac­tors have now jumped into the fray and are re­port­edly tak­ing ad­van­tage of the sit­u­a­tion and fleec­ing the res­i­dents.

With Morbe dam filled to just 45% of its ca­pac­ity, the NMMC has de­cided to im­ple­ment a wa­ter cut of up to 25% in the city to en­sure that the wa­ter sup­ply lasts till June.

While the city ear­lier re­ceived 420 mld wa­ter ev­ery day, the sup­ply has come down to 320 mld at present.

Some ar­eas did not re­ceive wa­ter for two to three days. The wa­ter tankers, each of which has a ca­pac­ity of 10,000 litres, sup­ply wa­ter from var­i­ous wa­ter tanks, wells and borewells.

There are around 16 wa­ter - sup­ply con­trac­tors un­der the NMMC ju­ris­dic­tion who seem to have formed a car­tel. There are a num­ber of com­plaints from res­i­dents against them.

Mangesh Chi­tale, a res­i­dent of Kopar Khairane, said, “We are won­der­ing if we have to de­pend on tankers in De­cem­ber it­self for a ba­sic ne­ces­sity like wa­ter, which has been com­mer­cialised, how will we sur­vive till June?”

It is not pos­si­ble for ev­ery res­i­dent to pur­chase wa­ter. There­fore, they con­tact their lo­cal cor­po­ra­tor and ask for sup­ply through the wa­ter tankers. The NMMC has just one tanker of its own and hence res­i­dents have to de­pend on pri­vate tankers.

Sev­eral ho­tel own­ers and de­vel­op­ers too source wa­ter from the tankers. Owing to the high de­mand, the tanker own­ers have hiked their price.

While Cidco has eight wa­ter tankers, no money is to be charged for sup­ply through them in Cidco ar­eas. The wa­ter is sup­plied at the ear­li­est fol­low­ing the de­mand from any colony. Yet, the tanker own­ers ask for var­ied amounts from the res­i­dents.

The charges vary from Rs1,500 to Rs3,000 per tanker. Around 25- 30 tankers in Kamothe are do­ing brisk busi­ness, sup­ply­ing wa­ter to the res­i­dents and making huge sums.

Girish Rao, a res­i­dent of Kopar Khairane, said: “The charges for wa­ter tankers have no ba­sis at all. Rs3,000 is de­manded for even short dis­tances. The con­trac­tors know that we need wa­ter des­per­ately and so charge ac­cord­ing to the sit­u­a­tion and not what is the norm.”

NMMC of­fi­cials said they are look­ing into the com­plaints and will is­sue in­struc­tions to the con­trac­tors. NMMC ex­ec­u­tive en­gi­neer (wa­ter sup­ply) Arvind Shinde said, “NMMC has only one wa­ter tanker. It is used to sup­ply wa­ter where there is acute short­age.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.