BMC plans to provide water to all slums in Mumbai

The civic body feels this will prevent water theft and illegal supply; these new connections in slum areas will have higher charges, to generate more revenue

In an attempt to prevent water theft and illegal connections, and to generate more revenue for it, the civic body is planning to give water connections to slums that have come up in the city till date. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is in the process of finalising details for the connections which will be given to these slum dwellers as a special category. The civic body will charge more for these connections.

Two tonnes of water pipe lines were confiscated after the Sewri Police took action against 300 agents involved in illegal water trade some years ago. Presently slums with legal connections get 45 litres of water per person, while residential societies get 135 litres of water per person. File pic
Two tonnes of water pipe lines were confiscated after the Sewri Police took action against 300 agents involved in illegal water trade some years ago. Presently slums with legal connections get 45 litres of water per person, while residential societies get 135 litres of water per person. File pic

The city presently has 3.7 lakh legal water connections, of which 2 lakh are in slums and the rest are connected to private societies, commercial establishments and industrial units. The state government had regularised slums that came up before January 1, 2000. After this, last year, BMC commissioner Sitaram Kunte had sent a letter to the state’s Urban Development department, seeking permission to give authorised connections to the slum dwellers.

Now, civic officers are working on a plan to give water connections to slums, which have come up after the year 2000. The All India Institute of Local Self-Government had also demanded water supply for all citizens. The BMC had given water connections to slums which had come up before January 1, 1995. However, more than a thousand slums came up after 2000 in all parts of Mumbai, and since the BMC was not supplying water to them, the residents got it through illegal connections or theft. Many people created illegal connections and turned into the water mafia. These illegal connections are also responsible for contaminated water. “As these illegal connections are leading to financial losses for the BMC, we are trying to earn revenue for it by giving the slum dwellers water connections,” said an officer from the Water Department. However, BMC does not have the figure of how many slums came up after 2000, and is depending on data from a customer survey.

“We are in the process of giving water connections to residents of slums that came up after 2000. This will help control water theft and illegal connections. We are going to charge the consumers extra money for that. However charges are not finalised yet. In the next three to four months everything will be finalised,” said Deputy Chief Hydraulic Engineer Ashok Tawadia.

The BMC supplies 3,750 million litres water per day (MLD) to the city, however, there is a need for around 4,200 MLD. More than 25 per cent of the water supplied to city is wasted because of unauthorised connections and theft. Presently slums with legal connections get 45 litres of water per person, while residential societies get 135 litres of water per person.

Did you know?
Tansa and Vaitarna lakes supply water to the southern region of Mumbai, while the other lakes supply to the suburbs.

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