After several demands from local leaders, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to provide additional water supply to Bhiwandi. However, the fate of Shahpur’s 227 villages remain in dark. After Rashid Tahir Momin, Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Bhiwandi had demanded an additional supply of 20 million litres every day, BMC finally agreed on 10 million litres to provide relief to drought-hit areas.
“We cannot fulfil their demand for 20 million litres because the supply to Mumbai should not suffer thus we agreed on 10 million litres instead,” an official from the water department said on condition of anonymity. But when asked about Shahapur’s water woes, the official said that the pipeline passes through Shahapur jurisdiction and not from the 227 villages. “Thus, their demand cannot be considered,” the official said.
Bhiwandi, which has a population of about 7 lakh gets about 35 million litres water per day from the BMC as Tansa pipeline passes through the jurisdiction. “Our actual requirement is about 135 million litres per day. Apart from BMC’s 35 million-litre supply, we receive 73 million litres per day from the local authority,” local MLA Momin said.
Meanwhile, MNS has jumped to the rescue of villagers from Shahapur. Sudhir Jadhav, MNS corporator wrote to the BMC asking the civic body to provide 24 million-litre water supply per day to about 227 villages, which include 438 padas (residential pockets in hilly region) as three dams that supply water to Mumbai are located in the region.
“These villages need only 24 million litres of water per day for six months as they manage the rest of the year on natural resources. Even if the BMC supplies the said amount for six months, that would mean about 4,375 million litre, which is equal to Mumbai’s one and half day’s supply,” Jadhav said.
City of Mumbai receives about 3,200 million litres of water per day. Rahul Shewale, chairman of the standing committee said the final decision on Bhiwandi’s demand will be taken during the group leader’s meet and the decision will be positive. “The BMC is ready to supply 10 million litres of additional water to Bhiwandi until the onset of monsoons.”