Car wash centres utilising drinking water: Activists

Jul 17, 2012, 07:19 IST | Vivek Sabnis

In light of the drastically low water levels in the dams that serve the city because of inadequate rainfall and the resultant shortage of water that residents have to face, social activists have trained their guns on car wash centres in the city

The activists are accusing these centres of using drinking water for washing vehicles. Social activist and Janata Dal (United) state unit president Rajesh Jagtap warned the state government of an agitation against the alleged misuse of drinking water by car wash centres. 

Criminal waste: A bike is washed at one of the 35 car wash centres in Sadashiv Peth. Pic/Vivek Sabnis

“The PMC should issue notices to these official and unofficial vehicle washing centres to stop washing cars, rickshaws and two-wheelers, especially at a time when there is scarcity of water,” Jagtap said. “There are about 1,200 such car wash centres in the city.

About 60 to 80 litres of water is being used for washing a single car and around 30 to 40 litres for a motorcycle. One car wash centre caters to about 50 vehicles, leading to a total consumption of 2,000 litres of water a day.”

Jagtap said that Sadashiv Peth alone has 35 car wash centres that use drinking water as well as ground water to wash vehicles. The situation was similar at Koregaon Park, Yerawada and Shaniwar Peth.

“It is pity that drinking water is being used for washing vehicles at several places in the city. Some are even using water from bore wells. Considering the kind of water scarcity the city is facing at the moment, even water from bore well is precious.

There is nothing wrong in asking these centres to stop washing vehicles for a while. This can help save at least 5 per cent to 10 per cent water everyday. The PMC should take the initiative,” Vikas Salve, a social activist from Kasba Peth, said.

Noted architect and water activist, Jyoti Panse, said that washing car in the current situation was nothing less than criminal waste of water. “PMC should take legal action against these people.” 

The other side
“A Drive against car wash centres has already been initiated. We are taking action by cutting their water connections and penalising them,” PMC’s water supply head V G Kulkarni said. Municipal Commissioner Mahesh Pathak urged citizens as well as car wash centres to use PMC-supplied water as well as water from bore wells wisely.

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