NCP students’ wing threatens agitation if water connection not given within 24 hrs
The girls have had to pay for their drinking water
The student wing of a political party has given a 24-hour ultimatum to the administration of Mumbai University to provide a water connection to the new girls’ hostel on the Kalina campus. Party leaders said they will stage a ‘handa bharo andolan’ (fill the water pot agitation) against BMC and MU if their demand is not met.
“It’s been eight months since the hostel was inaugurated and the university has failed to provide a water connection to the hostel building. As there is no water pipe connection in the hostel, water is being supplied by private tankers for the last six months. The students are suffering because of this. If the tanker does not come, they have to pay out of their own pockets for drinking water. It is a matter of shame that the university administration and BMC’s H/East ward, which were quick to arrange overnight parking for a political party’s meetings and rally on two occasions, failed to get a water connection even after eight months,” said Advocate Amol Matele, an NCP spokesperson and leader of the Nationalist Student Congress.
A water tanker at the hostel
On the Kalina campus, the 75 girls in the new girls’ hostel rely on tanker water which comes once in two days, and the cost per tanker is Rs 5,000.
On July 8, 2022, four new buildings were inaugurated on the Kalina campus by then Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari. Officials said the buildings had been ready for some time, but the administration received their Occupation Certificates (OC) only 10 days before the inauguration. mid-day, on September 13, 2022, had reported that two months after the inauguration, all four buildings were not ready for use as they had no furniture, and the final construction work was still going on.
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Later, it was found that the hostel and three other buildings inaugurated did not have water connections. After facing water woes, the MU administration started calling for water tankers in October 2022 once in two days.
In February, the students had to go without water as the water tanker association went on strike. The problem was so bad that girls were told to leave the hostel and go home for a few days. However, many came from other states. They were forced to visit other buildings on the campus to use the toilets.
A student said, “When I got admission at the Mumbai University hostel, I was very happy and relieved that my accommodation issue has been resolved. Now I feel that my troubles are unending. Water shortage and no water at times are really creating problems for us. We were told that the problem will be fixed within a month’s time. It’s been six months since I came here and the water connection remains a distant dream.”
Matele said, “Surprisingly, the building was granted occupancy certificate (OC) by the H/East ward in July 2022 despite the lack of water and other basic amenities.”
A senior university official said, “The work on laying the pipeline has been done by BMC, we have to now fix and join it to the hostel building. Once done, water supply will start immediately.”
No. of girls currently residing at the hostel