Soon, the pipelines that bring water to the city would be secure, and probably contamination-free. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has taken up a drive to remove encroachments along the city’s main water pipelines.
In the first phase, the civic body has selected two wards to initiate this scheme — G-north and S-ward, which covers Dadar, Mahim, Prabhadevi as well as Vikhroli and Bhandup. The BMC promises to shift slums from these areas by March 31. In the first phase, 1,878 hutments will be removed from both these wards, out of which 1,113 hutments will be eligible for rehabilitation.
The civic body plans to take similar steps in slums around the pipelines in seven other wards, including Ghatkopar, Mulund, Chembur, Andheri (East), Matunga, Dadar (East), Bandra (East), Santacruz (East), and Kurla.
The cost of shifting all the project-affected persons (PAPs) would be around Rs26 crore.
Sources told the Hindustan Times that the state was taking a keen interest in ensuring that the critical pipelines in the city were free of slums.
A senior civic official, on condition of anonymity said, “The state has been encouraging us to take up this programme as soon as possible. We have now asked the government to provide alternate accommodation to rehabilitate the PAPs.”
“Initially, the project was to be completed by 2015. However, the government has told us to ensure that it is over by 2012,” the official said.
While the deadline has been set, the civic body has no site in mind to rehabilitate these persons. Vinay Deshpande, hydraulic engineer, said, “We are in talks with the state government. We will be given the locations in a few days.”
According to the data available, a total of 15,789 hutments will be removed while only 8,790 will be rehabilitated. The civic body plans to fence 10m of space on both sides of the pipeline and private security guards will patrol the area.