Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray has taken up the water issue aggressively.
Thackeray met Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation Commissioner Swadheen Kshatriya at the BMC headquarters on Tuesday and questioned him about why laws on rainwater harvesting were not being implemented. He also asked the BMC to keep a check on the water mafia.
“There are laws on rainwater harvesting, but why is the BMC not implementing them?” Thackeray asked. “There are several wells across the city from which the tanker lobby takes water and sells at higher rates to the common man. Why can’t the BMC take over these wells and run takers?”
Thackeray said the time before monsoon is when the BMC should implement rainwater harvesting projects so that the city is prepared to conserve water. “We have the required water. It is just about how we use it and the BMC has all the powers to do so legally,” he said. The meeting started with Additional Municipal Commissioner Anil Diggikar explaining to Thackeray the steps taken by the BMC to conserve water.
Thackeray also alleged that there was a conspiracy behind pipeline bursts in Mumbai. He refused to reveal who he suspected was behind this. “But there is a method to these pipe bursts.”
Kshatriya said he would look to what more can be done to conserve water. “The BMC is doing all it can. There are a number of old wells in south Mumbai and there are also plans to desalinate seawater,” Kshatriya said. Thackeray, however, said desalination will not be required because there was enough water in wells and ponds, which could be used in a planned manner.
Desalination plant must for city: Bhujbal
Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, who first mooted the proposal to set up a desalination plan in Mumbai last year, on Tuesday said that the state was ready to help the civic body financially to set the plant. He said companies from Israel and America said water from desalination plants could be supplied at 5 to 7 paise per litre. “This water can be sold to five star hotels and multinational companies and BMC could supply solely to common consumers,’’ Bhujbal said. He said he expected the BMC to take the proposal forward soon.
MNS to revive wells at Shivaji Park
MNS President Raj Thackeray said his party would revive wells around Shivaji Park, which will provide sufficient water for levelling the park. He said tankers are being used for the purpose these days.