World Water Day: Demand for protecting city’s water bodies
The Pani Haq Samiti, which is fighting for equitable distribution of water in the city, will seek citizens’ participation for rejuvenation of the water bodies.mumbai Updated: Mar 21, 2018 00:52 IST
Ahead of World Water Day, which will be celebrated on Thursday, a citizen’s group will march towards Powai lake on Wednesday evening to spread awareness about the deteriorating condition of water bodies in the city. The Pani Haq Samiti, which is fighting for equitable distribution of water in the city, will seek citizens’ participation for rejuvenation of the water bodies.
World Water Day is celebrated annually on March 22, with a focus on universal access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene facilities.
Mumbai’s four rivers, Pohisar, Dahisar, Oshiwara and Mithi, over the years have fallen prey to burgeoning pollution and unplanned urbanisation. None of the rivers reach the sea unsullied. Slums, industries and cow sheds dump untreated toxic waste in the rivers.
“Apart from the rivers, there are more than 200 ponds and lakes in the city that needs immediate attention. In the name of beautification and urbanisation, these water bodies are being neglected,” said Sitaram Shelar, convenor, Pani Haq Samiti.
The Samiti will also submit letters at local ward offices demanding water connections in slums. According to the Samiti, close to 30 lakh slum-dwellers in the city lack access to potable water. Despite the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) decision to regularise water connections for slums, 270 applications from slums dwellers in Govandi, Mankhurd and Goregaon are pending for an approval, claimed the Samiti. The members said slum dwellers are forced to buy water daily.
In 2011, the Samiti had filed a petition in the Bombay high court (HC) challenging the state’s circular to civic bodies to not supply water to illegal /hutments/constructions. In a landmark judgment, the HC upheld the right to water and directed the BMC to frame a policy to supply water to slums.