Even though Navi Mumbai was scheduled to be India’s first city to have 24x7 water supply by the end of last year, luck seems to have dried up for residents. The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC), which undertook the project of 24x7 water supply around four years back, has failed to live up to its promise and it does not seem likely to commence supply before October this year. Interestingly, the NMMC had promised in 2011 that 24x7 water supply would be started by March this year, offering the excuse of unfinished pipeline work.
The NMMC has been laying additional water pipelines on a 35 km stretch to supply water from Morbe dam to Navi Mumbai city, as well as constructing a water treatment plant at Bhokarpada. When contacted in December, Surendra Patil, additional city engineer of NMMC had claimed that the delay in providing 24x7 water supply had been caused due to civic issues in the pipeline work. However, the corporation is yet to finish the work even six months after the deadline.
When asked about when the water supply is expected to start, Patil said, “It is a long process and has many components, which are interlinked with each other. In addition of just laying of pipeline, there are several issues to be fixed before commencement of the 24x7 water supply. Although the project has been delayed, we can not say much about its commencement until we study it in detail.”
In addition, the NMMC is facing technical issues in the construction of the water treatment plant at Bhokarpada near Morbe dam. Water supply through the new pipeline will be done only after the water treatment plant becomes operational.
“Construction work at Bhokarpada has slowed down due to technical issues, so it seems that it will take a little more time for the plant to become operational. Even if the laying of pipeline is completed in near future, the water supply can not be started without completion of the water treatment plant,” said an NMMC official, who requested anonymity.
Citing the above reasons, the official said that 24x7 water supply is not likely to start before October. As per NMMC data, at present, very few areas in Navi Mumbai are receiving optimum water supply. Residents of Navi Mumbai have been waiting for the commencement of 24x7 water supply for the last few years. Nitin Mhatre, a resident of Ghansoli, said “For the last ten years, we have been told that NMMC will provide 24x7 water supply across Navi Mumbai. The issue had also been highlighted at the last corporation election. The last time we inquired, NMMC officials assured us that 24x7 water supply will commence by 2011 end. Now it has been delayed for over eight months.”