Mumbai Local

Water crisis deepens in Navi Mumbai

While the municipal corporations look for alternative sources, the scarcity has offered an opportunity to tanker operators. —file photo  

The water crisis in Navi Mumbai and areas like Panvel, Kharghar, Kamothe, CBD Belapur, Seawoods, Nerul and Vashi has worsened in March with supply dropping to just once a day for two to four hours. While the municipal corporations look for alternative sources, the scarcity has offered an opportunity to tanker operators. A tanker of water that was available for Rs 800-1000 earlier is now being sold for Rs 2,000-2500.

According to reliable sources, some private tanker operators are illegally sourcing water from the main municipal pipelines and later selling it to housing societies. Viswarath Nair (61), a veteran journalist, who stays in sector 17, Vashi, said, “Vashi is facing such a severe water cut for the first time and residents are compelled to adjust to the restricted hours of supply. The pipeline at Karanjade in Panvel has been punctured by tanker operators at over 8-10 places to tap water illegally for domestic use and cleaning of vehicles.”

Vidya Deshmukh (25), owner of a small restaurant in sector 11, CBD Belapur, said, “It has become difficult to run our businesses. We are forced to buy water at higher prices. We used to keep our restaurant open till 8 pm, but now we close it by 3 pm.” Prajakta Nair (30), a Kharghar resident, said, “Life has become more difficult here. Water supply is very irregular and there is no fixed time of supply.” Officials of corporations in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane and Panvel say they are making efforts to curb pilferage and exploring alternative options such as reviving the abandoned wells and asking housing societies to have their own borewell.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has made plans to use the groundwater for non-potable purposes and it has taken initiatives for cleaning existing wells and digging of borewells in the city, says Ram Dotonde, media advisor to Mumbai municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta. “We are supplying water to tanker operators at the pre-fixed rates, but there are additional transportation charges depending upon the distance of the destination.”

Navi Mumbai Mayor Sudhakar S Sonawane said, “We have instructed the societies to make alternative arrangements as there are limited water sources. There are about 100-150 wells in the Navi Mumbai region. We have asked our people to clean them and use its water for purposes other than drinking. We have also sent samples of well water to the labs for tests.”

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Printable version | Mar 8, 2021 4:28:28 AM |

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