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Sujit Mahamulkar and Kunal Purohit , Hindustan Times
Mumbai, April 18, 2011
The next time the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) issues a warning about your society’s overhead water tank not being clean, do not take it lightly. You just may have to go to jail for this. In a move proposed to counter errant private societies, which refuse to clean their overhead tanks, the BMC now plans to file a First Information Report (FIR) against such societies and prosecute them. In a circular issued by the additional municipal commissioner (projects), Rajiv Jalota, the BMC has proposed a crackdown against such societies.

“We have decided that if the source of contamination is found to be in a society’s water tanks, we will first issue a 48-hour notice for them to rectify it. If they fail to do so, we will first disconnect their water supply, and then file an FIR against them if they still refuse to clean their tanks,” Jalota said.

Raja Bunch, a citizen activist from Borivli is happy with the BMC’s decision. “This a good step by the BMC to come down hard on societies that don’t clean their tanks. But, I doubt if there are going to be a lot of people who don’t clean their tanks. Instead, the BMC should concentrate on spreading awareness in slums to avoid contamination,” he said.

Vanita Narayane a resident of Ghatkopar said, “Actually housing societies should clean their suction tanks without waiting for any notice from the BMC.”

The BMC is also looking at a new system to test water samples. Jalota said, “Under the new system, the laboratory will give us detailed reports on these samples, which will include the location and exact nature of contamination. This will help us detect and respond to contamination more efficiently,” Jalota added.