Water crisis grips Juhu Koliwada, residents go without water for six days | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Water crisis grips Juhu Koliwada, residents go without water for six days

Jun 04, 2024 09:09 AM IST

The scenario has left the residents scrambling, with some resorting to buying bottled water, and tanker water, and others buying or borrowing bore well water.

Mumbai: Despite the civic body replacing old water pipes in Andheri West last week to improve water supply in the area, taps in over 100 homes across Juhu Koliwada, Mangelwadi, Juhu Tara and Indra Nagar are running dry for over six days. While most families didn’t get a single drop of water, others received a supply for a short 10 minutes. The scenario has left the residents scrambling high and dry, with some resorting to buying bottled water, and tanker water, and others buying or borrowing bore well water.

Water crisis grips Juhu Koliwada, residents go without water for six days
Water crisis grips Juhu Koliwada, residents go without water for six days

“I haven’t taken a proper bath in all these days,” said Ramanpreet Kaur Kalsi, a building resident in Juhu Koliwada. “I’ve bought cans of 20-litre water and spent over 3,000 in these days, which I’m using for necessary needs, drinking and cooking. But it feels criminal to waste drinking water for all these other uses.”

Nandu Sahu, another resident in the Juhu Koliwada basti, relayed that he was buying bottled water for drinking and cooking, but using borewell water for other needs. “There was a bore well built here around 15 years ago for use in the public toilet. But it is next to the toilet’s septic tank, which makes the water yellow and dirty. We have no choice but to use it for other needs and washing dishes. My wife has even developed a reaction due to it.”

Even bottled water was running scarce. Sahu said he had ordered a 20 litre can in the morning, but only received it in the evening, as either the shopkeeper didn’t have enough stock or weren’t giving them up as easily. He has been needing two of the cans to get through a day and wasn’t sure when the next can would be available.

His neighbour, Maria Rodrigues, explained that even when the tanker had arrived, it was too far from her home in the basti to be able to carry more than a few jugs. “I’m 55 years old. How much can I carry and how many rounds can I make?” she said.

Nicky Dsouza, yet another resident, explained, “For the two days when repairs to the water pipes were ongoing, we understood. A few housing societies, like Jal Tarang and Kaveri, even came forward and offered their borewell water if anyone needed it. But after the repairs, the situation has gotten even worse. As the days go on, more houses are not receiving water. Some have taken to selling water at a raised price to take advantage of the situation, some are ordering tankers. We have small houses, we cannot even store much water. There are tussles and fights where borewell water is being distributed.”

Both the women raised the point of extra water needed during menstruation for necessary hygiene, which was disrupted due to the water cut.

“It’s never been so bad in all these years that we haven’t gotten a single drop for six days,” said Sahu. “There’s nothing more essential than drinking water in his heat, and here we’ve been left without it.”

“This is the situation after there has been a 5% water cut imposed for the entire city. What will happen when the water cut is hiked to 10% on June 5? Will the few houses receiving water also stop getting the little they are right now?” asked Dsouza

Many residents had complained to BMC, calling on the 1916 helpline, only to receive dismal replies.

“When I called on Saturday and Sunday, the helpline informed me that everyone had complained and they would send mine ahead too to the ward office, but that nothing would change,” said Kalsi. Sahu too said he had complained on the helpline and made his neighbours do the same too.

What little the complaints had managed to do was get the BMC to send tankers to the Koliwada, but with around two being sent every day, it was not nearly enough to meet the residents’ needs, said Sahu.

The hydraulic engineer of the K West ward in response, said, “It takes six to seven days to streamline water supply after every repair work. We’re also providing tankers to the Koliwada.”

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