For residents of the city, provision of basic amenities like clean drinking water and good roads is more important than a clean and green city Findings of the Hindustan Times-C Fore survey shows that 43% respondents want the civic body to supply clean drinking water, while 32% wish for better roads. However, 16% give priority to keeping the city clean, and just 9% prefer that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) ensure the city has adequate open spaces.
Explaining this preference, Nayana Kathpalia, co-convenor of the NGO Citispace said: “People respond to those things that they relate to. For example, those who get water supply for only two hours a day will give priority to drinking water, when listing their expectations from the civic body.” She added that the civic body needs to give great importance to provision of all basic amenities, instead of prioritising among them. “All amenities should be treated equally as each has its own importance and usage,” Kathpalia said.
Drinking water and bad roads are two issues that the Hindustan Times has been tracking closely for the last two years. In August 2010, HT had first reported how the civic body’s own Environment Status Report revealed that impurity levels had gone up to 26% in 2009-10, compared to 13% in 2008-09. The level of contamination was highest in Goregaon (39.30%), followed by Colaba, Churchgate and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) at 31.70%.
Six months after the report was published, HT tested 10 samples of drinking water collected from several parts of the city and tested it in the BMC-owned laboratory at Dadar. The test results showed that 60% water samples were unfit to drink.
This year, in a series of reports, HT had revealed how water from civic reservoir outlets across the city had shown high levels of E.Coli presence, making it unfit to drink. Water is treated at these reservoirs and supplied across the city.
The issue of bad roads was also taken up aggressively. HT was the first paper to report ,in July this year, that the even though the civic body had spent more than Rs5,000 crore of taxpayer’s money on constructing, maintaining and resurfacing city roads in the past five years, the roads are still in a pathetic condition.