3,000 families in Gorai without water for 7 days; BMC blames ‘low pressure’ | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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3,000 families in Gorai without water for 7 days; BMC blames ‘low pressure’

Apr 20, 2024 08:08 AM IST

The problem of water scarcity in Gorai was much older, said villagers, narrating how over 5,000 families residing on the fringes of the village stopped receiving water from the civic body at various points over the past few years

Mumbai: Nearly 3,000 families residing in Gorai village have not received even a single drop of water from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in the past seven days. To tide over the crisis, most of them have been buying water from tankers at exorbitant prices, while some families are making do with brackish, impure water from village wells and lakes, said residents. Sandhya Nandedkar, assistant commissioner of the ward, said the lack of supply was due to low pressure and a 5% water cut till the monsoon, and the civic body was sending water tankers in the meantime.

Owing to the water crisis, many families are forced to use impure water from village ponds and lakes for their daily needs (Hindustan Times)
Owing to the water crisis, many families are forced to use impure water from village ponds and lakes for their daily needs (Hindustan Times)

The problem of water scarcity in Gorai was much older, they said, narrating how over 5,000 families residing on the fringes of the village stopped receiving water from the civic body at various points over the past few years. Many reported spending over 7,000 a month on tanker water for essential needs; many others had to carry water in vessels because their lanes were too narrow to allow tankers.

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“I and my neighbours stopped receiving BMC water seven days ago,” said Everat Manaji, a resident of the village. The well in her neighbourhood, which caters to around 100 residents, was insufficient to meet their requirements in the crisis, he said. “We are a family of seven, so we had no choice but to buy water from Uttan or nearby villages.”

A tanker of water costs between 500 and 850, including transportation charges, and there is a waiting list, said residents.

Switsy Henriques, president of the Gorai Villagers’ Welfare Association, said the water crisis in the village was very old and the BMC had stopped supplying water to many localities without any intimation explanation.

“First, those who live on the outskirts of the village stopped receiving BMC water, in private as well as public taps. We suspected there was an issue with the pipes, so we recommended they be repaired. But still, they did not get any water.”

The neighbourhoods of Dui pada and Vairala pada were affected next, followed by others. “Some neighbourhoods are located on salty marshes, so the residents don’t have the option of getting by on water from borewells, ancestral wells or lakes,” said Henriques. Due to the water crisis, women from Dui pada had no option but to defecate in the open despite safety threats, she said.

Christel Tuscano, a social activist with Suryoday Samaj Kendra, said a majority residents had been depending on tanker water. Parrel D’Mello, who stopped receiving water three years ago, said he had had been spending 7,000 a month to buy tanker water at 850 per trip.

Yet, D’mello, like many other residents in similar position, received a 2,700 water bill from the BMC. “I paid the bill as I do not want my water connection to get cancelled,” he said.

Henriques said areas such as Lower Koliwada and Upper Koliwada had problems getting tanker water too, as their narrow roads made movement of tankers difficult, forcing them to transport water in vessels on foot. Those dependent on wells for uses other than drinking have to contend with dirty water, as the condition of the wells has worsened, and the washing of clothes by the wells often pollutes the water, said residents.

Like several instances in the past, Henriques has complained to the BMC about the latest water crisis, requesting an appointment with the BMC chief on Thursday. While there has been no response from the civic body yet, the official in-charge of water in R central ward admitted the issue has been going on for a while. “There is a problem of low pressure, which leads to low supply in the area. For now, we are providing water tankers to the area. Work on the suction tank is on, but it will take time,” he said.

Sandhya Nandedkar, assistant commissioner of the ward, explained that as the area is far and beyond the creek, the water pipeline is long and hence, pressure is low. “As there is a 5% water cut all over the city to ensure there is enough water till monsoon, June 1, it is impacting the Gorai village residents. But we are sending BMC water tankers in the meantime,” she said.

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