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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

Wait longer for secure water pipelines in Mumbai

Poorvi Kulkarni, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 18, 2013
First Published: 00:55 IST(18/3/2013) | Last Updated: 00:57 IST(18/3/2013)

A city that loses around 900 million litres of water a day to theft and leakages will have to wait longer to secure its pipeline network and clear it of encroachments.

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The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is all set to push the deadline for demolishing encroachments along water pipelines yet again.

The plan, to remove around 16,000 encroachments within a distance of 10 metres of water pipelines supplying potable water to the city, is divided into four phases and is scheduled to be completed by March 2015. However, it is still in its second phase.

“There are Class 10 and Class 12 board exams going on right now and we do not want to inconvenience residents,” said Rajiv Jalota, additional municipal commissioner. Jalota said the demolition will now take place in May.

While notices have been issued to residents to vacate in T-ward (Mulund), re-verification is still in process in the N (Ghatkopar) and M-West (Chembur) wards.

 “A notice of motion will be filed in court seeking an extension to the second phase,” said a senior civic official from the BMC’s hydraulic engineer’s department.

While the eligibility criterion for alternate accommodation in the first phase was 2000, the BMC will now hold 1995 as the cut-off date as the petition filed in the Supreme Court to extend the cut-off date for eligibility is still pending.

The drive to remove encroachments began after the July 2009 high court order in response to a public interest litigation filed by a non-governmental organisation, Janhit Manch.

“The BMC sought an extension seven times to complete the first phase. The amount of uncertainties and hurdles has made sure that there is no foreseeable end in sight for the plan,” said Bhagvanji Raiyani, member of Janhit Manch.


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