Your drink­ing wa­ter used at city’s con­struc­tion sites

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Lax­man Singh lax­man.singh@hin­dus­tan­times.com

MUM­BAI: Even as the city grap­ples with a wa­ter short­age, pre­cious drink­ing wa­ter meant for hous­ing so­ci­eties and slums is be­ing sold il­le­gally and used to con­struct build­ings, thanks to a nexus be­tween civic of­fi­cials, builders and tanker own­ers.

Mum­bai has 18 wa­ter fill­ing sta­tions from where potable wa­ter is car­ried in tankers to build­ings and slums that don’t get wa­ter from taps, ow­ing to prob­lems in the sup­ply lines.

Ev­ery day, th­ese tankers dis­trib­ute about seven mil­lion litres of drink­ing wa­ter, which is sold at a nom­i­nal rate of Rs 120 to Rs 150 a tanker to hous­ing so­ci­eties and given free to slum dwellers in ar­eas where the lo­cal cor­po­ra­tor has al­lot­ted money from his area de­vel­op­ment fund. Each tanker car­ries about 10,000 liters of wa­ter.

Un­der the rules, wa­ter from th­ese fill­ing sta­tions is meant ex­clu­sively for drink­ing. How­ever, the prob­lem is that the BMC has no sys­tem in place to check where the tankers ac­tu­ally take this wa­ter. Civic ac­tivists say that in many cases, it is sup­plied to con­struc­tion sites and other busi­nesses. Over the past week, drink­ing wa­ter from a fill­ing sta­tion at And­heri (E), near the rail­way sta­tion, has been dis­trib­uted to sev­eral con­struc­tion sites.

CON­TIN­UED ON P13

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