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Solve water crisis or we’ll intensify protest: Residents

By Padmja Sinha, Navi Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON OCT 31, 2019 12:47 AM IST

Around 200 residents from Kharghar on Wednesday marched to the City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco) office, protesting against acute water shortage that the node has been facing for the past one week.

Water shortage is a perennial problem in Kharghar but the residents protested because it worsened in some sectors.

The protesters sat on Cidco office premises for more than an hour and left after they got assurance from the officials about solving the water problem.

PCMC corporator G Gaikar said, “If water supply does not improve in two days, then we will plan a big protest. All residents will march to the Cidco office as all nodes are facing water crisis.”

“It has been more than a year that we are facing water problem and Cidco has been able to fool people by giving false assurances. After the protest, the supply improves for a day or two. There is serious need to work on a permanent water solution for Kharghar node,” said VS Nair, 50, a Kharghar resident.

GJ Dalal, executive engineer, water department, Cidco, said, “We had earlier asked Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) for 5mld (million litres a day), the demand has been granted and within two days 5mld extra water would be supplied to Kharghar node.”

“We are working on giving 10mld extra water later as we are planning to draw water from Balganga dam. We will work out towards a permanent solution to the issue,” said Dalal.

Sudarshan Naik, Kharghar-based social activist, said, “Cidco itself has a water requirement of 650 litres per family — this means 135mld per person. But, there is shortage of supply. We hardly get 300 to 400 litres.”

“Kharghar needs 80mld water but Cidco supplies only 55mld, out of which 20 mld is given to Taloja. The entire Kharghar has only 35mld of water supply,” said Naik, one of the protesters.

Residents have asked Cidco to not give commencement certificate or occupancy certificate to new projects till they solve this problem. “We have spent a lot on tanker water. Cidco should come up with a solution,” said Sumedha Naik, 40, a Kharghar resident.

Every month, Kharghar sees two days of water cut.

Swachh Kharghar Foundation (SKF), which takes up civic issues of the node, did not participate in the protest but has planned one if Cidco fails to solve the problem.

Mangal Kamble of SKF said, “Cidco does not have a concrete plan to solve the crisis. We had opted for (NOTA) during elections and we want to be fooled again by false promises. Hence, we didn’t take part in the protest on Wednesday.”

“We have written to Panvel revenue officials and Cidco officials. A meeting with revenue officer has been scheduled in the second week of November,” said Kamble.

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