Use wa­ter wisely or lose con­nec­tion Ex- cor­po­ra­tors yet to re­turn tablets

STRICT AC­TION Pan­vel Mu­nic­i­pal Coun­cil ap­points mo­bile squads to check for wastage of wa­ter; vi­o­la­tors will first get no­tice

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVIMUMBAI - Tas­neem Kausar ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­times.com G Mo­hi­ud­din Jeddy ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­times.com

If you waste a lot of wa­ter ev­ery day, you may lose your wa­ter sup­ply. At a time when the state is reel­ing un­der wa­ter cri­sis, the Pan­vel Mu­nic­i­pal Coun­cil ( PMC) has de­cided to come down heav­ily on those who waste wa­ter.

The wa­ter depart­ment of PMC has ap­pointed mo­bile squads to check for wa­ter wastage. Those found guilty will find their sup­ply dis­con­nected.

The wa­ter depart­ment has ap­pealed to hous­ing so­ci­eties and res­i­dents to curb wastage of wa­ter in their re­spec­tive ar­eas.

“De­spite reg­u­lar no­tices and warn­ings, if peo­ple do not take the req­ui­site mea­sures, we will stop their wa­ter sup­ply to pre­vent wastage,” said an of­fi­cial,on con­di­tion of anonymity.

“The wa­ter depart­ment has set up spe­cial squads for the pur- pose. Apart from en­sur­ing proper wa­ter sup­ply in the re­gion, the squad will also look­out for leak­ages and wa­ter wastage,” said a PMC of­fi­cial.

He said, “Those found guilty of wast­ing wa­ter will first be given warn­ing and no­tice. If the wastage con­tin­ues, the ad­min­is­tra­tion will not hes­i­tate in dis­con­nect­ing the wa­ter sup­ply.”

The PMC has al­ready stip­u­lat- ed wa­ter rates on the ba­sis of the size of wa­ter con­nec­tions. The bills are col­lected ac­cord­ingly.

In Pan­vel, con­sumers pay a fixed amount and then use as much wa­ter as they want. Sev­eral busi­ness en­ti­ties pay do­mes­tic rates and use wa­ter for com­mer­cial pur­poses. There is no clar­ity on how much wa­ter is used af­ter be­ing sourced from Dehrang Dam, Maharashtra Jee­van Prad­hikaran ( MJP) and Maharashtra In­dus­trial De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion or what the ac­tual re­quire­ment of the city is.

Since there is no proper wa­ter au­dit, the PMC spends crores on wa­ter sup­ply.

Now, there is a pro­posal to sup­ply wa­ter in Pan­vel through wa­ter me­tres. How­ever, since the PMC’s fi­nances are dip­ping, the pro­posal has been de­layed.

“Cur­rently, the wa­ter stock in the dam is low ow­ing to in­ad­e­quate rain­fall last year. MJP has re­duced its wa­ter sup­ply. There is a pos­si­bil­ity of a fur­ther cut in sum­mer,” said the PMC of­fi­cial.

Even as Navi Mum­bai Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion ( NMMC) is strug­gling to suc­ceed in its plans to go pa­per­less, for­mer cor­po­ra­tors are yet to re­turn the tablets.

The tablets were is­sued to them dur­ing their ten­ure in the last house of the civic body.

The NMMC ad­min­is­tra­tion could suf­fer fi­nan­cial losses ow­ing to this. Dur­ing the 201015 ten­ure of NMMC, the then mayor Sagar Naik had pro­posed the idea of dis­tribut­ing tablets to cor­po­ra­tors and of­fi­cials.

Cor­po­ra­tors and of­fi­cials would get the agenda of the meet­ings on the tabs. A to­tal of 122 peo­ple, in­clud­ing 89 cor­po­ra­tors, were given tablets. A spe­cial ap­pli­ca­tion was de­vel­oped to en­able the cor­po­ra­tors to read the agenda eas­ily.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion had spent over Rs45 lakh on the pro­ject. How­ever, the plan was not im­ple- mented. Mean­while, civic elec­tions were held in April last year.

It has been 11 months since the polls, but the for­mer cor­po­ra­tors have not re­turned the tablets.“The tablets have to be re­turned af­ter the ten­ure ends. Some prob­a­bly did not know to this and thought it was given to them for good,” said an NMMC of­fi­cial, re­quest­ing anonymity.

He said, “How­ever, even the cor­po­ra­tors who have been re-elected don’t seem to be us­ing the tablets.”

Cur­rently, of the pre­vi­ous body 49 cor­po­ra­tors or their rel­a­tives are in the house. A to­tal of 25 cor­po­ra­tors have been re­elected. The wives of 13 for­mer cor­po­ra­tors have been elected and hus­bands of nine for­mer cor­po­ra­tors have been elected. Two cor­po­ra­tors are chil­dren of for­mer cor­po­ra­tors.

By the be­gin­ning of this week, 13 peo­ple had re­turned the tablets. Mu­nic­i­pal com­mis­sioner Di­nesh Waghmare said, “We are hope­ful that all for­mer cor­po­ra­tors will re­turn their tablets soon.”

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