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Mumbai: Water for all slows down to a trickle

Updated on: 25 August,2022 04:40 PM IST  |  Mumbai
Prajakta Kasale |

Applicants say work moving at snail’s pace with only a fraction of total applications sanctioned; BMC says can’t permit work during monsoon

Mumbai: Water for all slows down to a trickle

Residents of Ganpat Patil Nagar in Dahisar West perform puja after getting water connection

Four months on, citizens’ bid to get water connection under BMC’s Water For All policy is yet to speed up. Reason: monsoon season. Civic officials said they cannot give permission for trenching to lay the pipelines during the rainy season, which has stopped the pace of the work. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation launched the policy, which was pending for years even after the Bombay High Court’s direction, on May 1, but the situation on the ground has not changed much. 

Activist Speak

Sunil Yadav from Pani Haq Samiti, which works in Ganpat Patil Nagar in Dahisar West, said that they had applied for 100 connections in May, of which only 7 connections started last week while 8 more started from Wednesday. “Though we are getting permissions, the process is moving at a snail’s pace. Even the extension of the water line is halted,” he said.

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Yadav, however, added that those who are going through agents are getting water connection within 4 to 5 days. “When we go, it takes 2 to 3 months,” he said, adding, “The agents have lowered their rates too, from Rs 1 lakh-Rs 1.5 lakh per connection to Rs 30,000.” Yadav further explained that the legal fee and cost of one connection to be paid to the BMC is Rs 10,000.

Sitaram Shelar, activist and founder of Pani Haq Samiti, said, “The process has started but the speed is very slow. The BMC is just using the excuse of trenching permission for the slow process. In Ganpat Patil Nagar, they have given more than 100 connections, but the process is slow in other wards.” 

In Mankhurd, only 80 of the 450 applications were sanctioned. Abrar Salmani, an activist, said, “The work has come to a halt now as it requires extension of pipelines. The BMC laid 4-inch pipeline at 3-4 gullies, which needs to be extended further using 2-inch pipes. The work will only restart after the end of monsoon.” 

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BMC Speak

A senior BMC official from the hydraulic department said the process to give the water connections was on but would take time as they cannot permit digging and trenching work during monsoon months. 

He added that the civic body did not have a consolidated data on how many applications were submitted and how many were sanctioned. Additional Municipal Commissioner P Velarasu said that the work was going on as per the demand from citizens.

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