The Bombay high court on Tuesday pulled up the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for refusing water supply to two buildings, which are part of the sale component of a slum rehabilitation project at Film City Road in Goregaon (East), purportedly due to interference of the then leader of Opposition in the civic body.
“Water supply can’t be a subject matter of politics,” the division bench of justice SA Bobade and justice RD Dhanuka said while hearing a petition filed by Sunil Mantri Realty Ltd.
The court has directed BMC counsel Vidya Gharpure to come up with a programme for supplying drinking water for the two buildings by Monday. The buildings have been completed and ready for occupation since June 2009.
Counsel for the developer, AM Vernekar, pointed out that though they had complied with all the conditions stipulated by the BMC and had paid all the requisite amounts, the civic body had declined to proceed their request for water supply because of the interference of the then leader of Opposition.
“Water is covered under Article 21 of the Constitution of India [which guarantees right to life to every citizen],” the judges said. “Here the people are completely dependent upon you [civic body] for supply of water. This is not a village, in which case we could have directed the petitioner to some river or well for fetching water.”
Sunil Mantri Realty had taken up construction of the sale component of the slum rehabilitation project. It comprised 873 residential and 16 commercial tenements in 11 buildings.