Following complaints of indiscriminate drawing of water by private tankers from municipal filling points, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has finally decided to install water meters and CCTVs at these points. While the installation of meters have been completed , CCTV cameras will soon be installed.
“We had invited tenders for installing CCTV cameras but only a single bidder has shown interest. We have invited fresh tenders and hope to install the cameras soon,” said a senior civic official.
The BMC has also decided to introduce a policy banning the transport of non-potable water.
Chief Hydraulic Engineer, AS Tawadia confirmed the development and said, “According to instructions given by the police, we have installed meters at all the filling points last month. We are taking steps to curb the haphazard supply of water by private tankers.”
There are 18 water filling points in the city, from where tanker operators fill tankers and sell them at exorbitant rates. While the city was battling its water shortage, private tankers were drawing water on an ad-hoc basis and selling it at high price. The tanker business made large profits when the 20% water cut was in effect. Many posh societies in the city depend on the tankers for their daily supply, even when there is no water cut.
The tankers also supplied drinking water to construction sites illegally. On April 15, HT had reported how tanker owners mint money in the absence of any controls from the civic body.
In April, BJP MP Kirit Somaiya compiled data of water tankers getting water from 18 municipal filling points excessively. He said that as many as 48,180 tankers — 9,181 from the BMC and 38,999 private tankers — supplied water between January 1 and April 10.
Somaiya said the BMC had sold around 39,000 litres of water to private tankers between January 1 and March 10.