The civic body’s move to set up a separate autonomous entity to handle Mumbai’s water supply system was welcomed by experts and political parties in the city.
The Hindustan Times on February 11 had reported that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is considering an autonomous body to handle Mumbai’s water supply system.
“The BMC’s decision will improve city’s water supply distribution network,” said Madhav Chitale, an expert in water management.
The undertaking will be modelled on the lines of the Delhi Jal Board that looks after water supply in the capital.
“A separate entity can focus wholly on water distribution and its management, which is not happening now because senior officials have to look at other major departments such as health, education and cleaning,” Chitale added.
On the lines of the Delhi Jal Board that looks after water supply to the capital, the proposed water supply undertaking can take its own decisions, will have its own budget but will be under the control of the civic body, just like the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking.
“I have suggested the same solution in my earlier report about forming a separate holding company for Mumbai Metropolitan Region, which can supply water to even adjoining councils and municipal corporations like Navi Mumbai, Thane and Kalyan-Dombivli so that each city could also be independent bulk consumer of the holding company,” Chitale said.
The water network system is managed by the water supply department of the BMC, which does not have enough expert staff to improve the quality of Mumbai’s 4,000-km water distribution network -- one of the most complex water supply systems in Asia. Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray also appreciated the idea.
“We want it to happen, but can only decide after a concrete proposal is put up,” Uddhav said.
Not only Sena but even the Congress, the opposition in the BMC, welcomed the idea. Vinod Shekhar, deputy Congress leader in the BMC, said: “In 2005, I had written a letter to mayor but it was not taken on agenda. It would definitely work in the huge civic body like Mumbai.”
“Separate body, would surely helps to reduce our workload and improving quality of the water supply network system,” said a senior official from water department on the condition of anonymity.