No wa­ter wastage in city, says NMMC

U-TURN A few months ago, it had claimed 19% of wa­ter sup­ply was go­ing down the drain; Now, it says wa­ter is reach­ing the con­sumers

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - Pranab Jy­oti Bhuyan pranab.bhuyan@hin­dus­tan­

With the city fac­ing se­vere wa­ter cri­sis, the Navi Mum­bai Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion (NMMC) seems to have taken a U-turn on wastage of wa­ter in the city.

In July last year, Arvind Shinde, ex­ec­u­tive en­gi­neer of wa­ter sup­ply depart­ment of the civic body, said that around 19% (70 mld) wa­ter was wasted ev­ery day. There were also dis­cus­sions of form­ing spe­cial squads to keep watch on the wastage in dif­fer­ent parts of the city.

Il­le­gal con­nec­tions and leak­ing pipe­lines were cited as the main rea­sons of wa­ter wastage.

When Hin­dus­tan Times con­tacted Shinde on Fri­day, he said there is no wa­ter wastage in the city.

It is, how­ever, not clear whether the civic body fixed the is­sue or is try­ing to cover up its neg­li­gence, fear­ing pub­lic crit­i­cism at the time of cri­sis.

Re­fus­ing to elab­o­rate on the mat­ter, Shinde said there is no leak­age prob­lem in wa­ter pipe­lines and wa­ter is reach­ing the con­sumers.

When asked about his state­ment made in July, he said, “We had said some­thing like that last year, but it was not re­lated to wa­ter cri­sis the city is fac­ing. Wa­ter is not get­ting wasted in the city for sure.”

“Some hous­ing so­ci­eties are wast­ing wa­ter by clean­ing ve­hi­cles, com­pound walls among oth­ers and when­ever we get to know about such wastage we im­me­di­ately is­sue no­tices to them,” he added.

An­other of­fi­cial, on con­di­tion of anonymity, said, “Of­fi­cials from the wa­ter depart­ment are keep­ing a close watch on those wast­ing wa­ter. We have also cracked down on unau­tho­rised con­nec­tions and around 4,000 no­tices have been served in the past few months. Ef­forts are also be­ing made to plug leak­ages in wa­ter dis­tri­bu­tion sys­tem of the civic body.”

Ac­tivists, how­ever, said that apart from leak­ages sev­eral un­scrupu­lous el­e­ments are also steal­ing wa­ter by break­ing wa­ter pipes in se­cluded ar­eas. “Crim­i­nals make holes in the wa­ter pipes and fill tankers us­ing long pipes. Once they fill tankers, they try to plug the holes with clothes and other ma­te­ri­als but do not suc­ceed. Thou­sands of litres of wa­ter are get­ting wasted at dif­fer­ent places in the city,” said Arup Sharma, 37, an ac­tivist from Nerul.

Res­i­dents, too, al­lege wa­ter is mis­used and the NMMC is not tak­ing any ac­tion.

“Slum dwellers, who do not get wa­ter sup­ply, break pipes and use wa­ter for bathing and clean­ing clothes. Many of them re­port­edly sell wa­ter by fill­ing them in big gal­lons. In­stead of try­ing to cover up the mat­ter, the NMMC should face the re­al­ity and try to find a so­lu­tion,” said Ra­jesh Puri, 32, a res­i­dent of Ghan­soli.

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