Even as Mid Day reported the acute scarcity of potable water in Thane villages which led to the death of a tribal woman, and the fact of individuals there surviving on just three litres of water per month (‘Thane, where water is a luxury’ April 26, 2012), this reporter came upon an instance of a Bandra family wasting upto 200 litres of water every day, for no apparent reason.
SMD witnessed a woman deliberately pour a thick stream of water from a pipe from her fourth floor flat onto the compound below on Saturday morning.
The act, witnessed at Bhabha Sanatorium, which is two buildings away from actor Shah Rukh Khan’s Bungalow Mannat at Bandstand, continued for an hour-and-a-half, which ultimately resulted in a puddle that overflowed onto the adjacent sea-facing road.
SMD saw 53 year-old Sana Irani deliberately pouring a thick stream of water from a pipe from her fourth floor flat onto the compound below on Saturday morning for an hour and a half. PICS/ Shailesh Bhatia
Upon questioning, locals revealed that this is a daily ritual that has been going on for over three months, by the owner of the house, 53 year-old Sana Irani, and her tenant, 25 year-old Firdosh Patel. The water carnage, we were told, begins at 7.30 am and ends at 9 am, when the building watchmen shuts the overhead tank valve.
“We have tried reasoning with Sana, but were rebuffed. We estimate that about 200 litres of water is wasted every day, which, as far as I know, will be enough to cater to the needs of a family of about 10 individuals,” said Sarosh Talati (name changed on request), a resident of the sanatorium.
Talati added that their area is already facing a scarcity of water, and a majority of the buildings, including theirs, get water for only two hours a day.
Themton Govadia, manager of the sanatorium, said he was aware of the practice. “The Parsi Punchayet ends up paying approximately Rs 30,000 per month as water taxes to the BMC,” he rued.
Armaity Kirandaz, a senior member of the Parsi Punchayet, which is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the sanatorium, informed us that the matter has been scheduled for discussion in their next committee. “We will discuss options to tackle this menace,” he said.
When we appraised J C Patel, assistant engineer (water) of the H (West) ward of the situation, he said his team would be investigating the case on a high-priority basis. “Based on our findings, we will issue a notice to the accused, to explain their stand, before taking any deterrent action like imposing fines or initiating legal action.”
When we contacted Irani, she called the practice a necessity to maintain hygine. “We do not have a roof on our balcony, which results in pigeons and crows dirtying the place. What looks like a compound is actually a terrace on the ground floor. With no housekeeping facilities, what choice do I have? I can’t climb four floors up and down to sweep it,” she said.
She alleged that those complaining, held a grudge against her. “I am called filthy names by my neighbours, who use buckets of water to clean their balconies and even drain out gallons of water every day from the overhead water tanks, which are fitted in their flats,” she said.