Thousands of litres of water have been wasted every day since the past 1.5 months from a burst water pipeline near the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road, but the authorities could hardly be bothered to repair it. Considering the fact that 16,800 villages in Maharashtra reeling under drought, this is a criminal waste of water, but despite several complaints from a local resident, the BMC had done nothing about it.
Water has been gushing out of this burst pipeline on Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road. Pics/Nimesh Dave
Yesterday, mid-day visited the spot near the Green Fields bus stop on JVLR, and saw the pipeline spewing a jet of water as high as twenty feet up, finally gushing into the nearby gutter. A bunch of youngsters had gathered there to cool off in the summer heat.
The jet from broken the pipeline can be seen from a distance, as it sprays up to 20 feet in the air near JVLR
Local resident Sudhakar Shenoy, an ex-officer from Air India, said he had first spotted the jet one-and-a-half months ago. “I spotted the water jetting high above the woods behind the Vijay Salaskar Garden, over 45 days back. At first I thought some repair work was on, and did not pay much attention. But when the problem persisted even after a week, I knew it was time for me to inform the authorities,” he said. About five weeks ago, Shenoy repeatedly called BMC’s complaint helplines to inform them of the colossal waste of water there, but no action was taken.
Another local, Deepak Shrungarkar rued the waste. “On one hand, we have farmers committing suicide due to the lack of water, and here we see gallons of water flowing into the gutter,” he said.
When this reporter took a closer look, there were clear signs that someone had used blunt force to break open the pipeline. A local alleged that this was the handiwork of the washermen, who use the water to wash their linen in the mornings. The same area transforms in to a haven for drunkards at night, as is clear from the number of empty liquor bottles strewn around.
mid-day contacted the recently appointed Assistant Municipal Commissioner (AMC) of K-East ward, Devendra Jain, who assured prompt action would be taken. Within 30 minutes, the ward’s assistant engineer arrived at the spot and took note of the problem.
“We got the complaint only today and have informed the concerned department to carry out the repair job. It is evident that the old pipeline which goes in to Aarey has been tampered with, which has resulted in this huge loss of water, but the leak will be plugged shortly,” said the official.
Just a couple of days ago, BJP corporator and MLA Ameet Satam has urged the BMC to impose a fine of up to Rs 50,000 on citizens who play with water during Holi, to prevent wastage of water.