MIDC’s 60-hour wa­ter cut tak­ing its toll

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - G Mo­hi­ud­din Jeddy ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­times.com

MIDC sup­plies wa­ter to Navi Mum­bai from its Barvi dam to the in­dus­trial and res­i­den­tial area in the Thane-Belapur belt.

The 42 mld wa­ter that was sup­plied has been cut by 50% has not only ad­versely af­fect­ing the in­dus­tries in the re­gion but is also test­ing the pa­tience of al­most 2.5 lakh pop­u­la­tion that re­sides in the area. Lo­cal lead­ers warn there could be se­ri­ous trou­ble in the area if the con­di­tion does not im­prove soon.

The sit­u­a­tion is such, that the drums filled with wa­ter, kept in front of the houses are locked to se­cure them from be­ing stolen. The lo­cal cor­po­ra­tors are be­ing con­fronted and gheroed regu- larly by the res­i­dents de­mand­ing wa­ter. A cor­po­ra­tor said, “The sit­u­a­tion is so bad in March. It is scary to even think what is go­ing to hap­pen in the com­ing months till the mon­soon.”

Over the years, due to the sup­ply from NMMC owned Morbe dam, res­i­dents of Navi Mum­bai have been used to get­ting more than ad­e­quate sup­ply of wa­ter and us­ing it with­out much care. With wa­ter short­age all over, NMMC too has had to re­sort to a 30% wa­ter cut.

Since, MIDC had pipe­line in the area and sup­plied wa­ter here, NMMC con­tin­ued with the sys­tem and did not con­nect wa­ter sup­ply from Morbe to this re­gion. It started pur­chas­ing 42 mld of wa­ter from MIDC for sup­ply here.

There are over 3,000 small, medium and large in­dus­tries in the re­gion and 52 hut­ments in the belt.

Since there is just 56% wa­ter left in Barvi dam, MIDC has an­nounced 40% cut for all ar­eas that are sup­plied wa­ter from the dam. The wa­ter cut that be­gan in De­cem­ber has started af­fect­ing the in­dus­tries and also the 2.5 lakh pop­u­la­tion that is mostly de­pen­dent on th­ese in­dus­tries.

With the Morbe dam wa­ter be­ing sup­plied to nodal ar­eas, the slum dwellers of the in­dus­trial belt are get­ting rest­less over their wors­en­ing sit­u­a­tion due to the cut by MIDC which is more se­vere than that of NMMC.

Said Su­nil Son­awane, a lo­cal res­i­dent, “The wa­ter sup­ply that stops from Wed­nes­day evening is re­sumed only on Satur­day morn­ing. Since, the in­dus­tries are shut on Fri­day, they some­how man­age the wa­ter cut , how­ever, we the res­i­dents who have ear­lier en­joyed 24 hours wa­ter sup­ply, now have no es­cape.”

To en­sure that the res­i­dents do not source more wa­ter from the pipe­lines, MIDC has locked the valves. There are 22 cor­po­ra­tors who come from th­ese slums. A sur­vey con­ducted by NMMC showed that there are 52,000 hut­ments in the re­gion and th­ese do not in­clude the il­le­gal hut­ments.

The pop­u­la­tion of 2.5 lakh that re­sides in the slums in the re­gion face a ma­jor prob­lem of even hav­ing drink­ing wa­ter. To face the 60-hour wa­ter cut, ev­ery house­hold has a drum out­side the shanty that is filled up to be used dur­ing the shut­down.

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