MIDC’s 60-hour water cut taking its toll
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.