Skip to main content

Mumbai's water tanker mafia, officials in "nexus" despite victory over authorities for water supply to Ambujwadi slum

By Bilal Khan*
After almost 20 years of existence, Ambujwadi, an informal settlement in Malvani, the Mumbai Municipal Corporation (popularly BMC) may have finally recognized the right of the people and conceded to allow water supply to the slum.
The joint efforts of the organized slum dwellers through Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan (GBGBA) for over two years has, no doubt, finally resulted in the beginning of water supply in the slums of Ambujwadi.
However, only two tankers of 10,000 litres each reach Ambujwadi daily, which is then distributed into 500 cans of 40 litres each. This supply is available only to a small fraction of a large population of around 50,000 in Ambujwadi.
Before these tankers were authorized to supply water, residents had to buy water from private sources where each can of 40 litres was priced at Rs 20-25. Residents would complain that the water they bought from private sources stank and was unclean.
They suspected that it was unhygienic and also the cause of many diseases in the slums. The new water supply through the tankers is priced at Rs 7 for every 40 litre can of water.
The BMC, after allowing water tankers in Ambujwadi, has begun creating newer problems with more absurd rules and conditions that weren’t in place earlier. The BMC is demanding licensed water transporters to take up the contract for delivering water in the slum area, the cost of which is beyond the meagre means of the slum dwellers.
The need for licensed water transporters has become a new, mandatory rule set by the BMC recently, which, say residents, has created more hassles and deny the people of Ambujwadi their right to clean, affordable and legal drinking water.
At double the cost of unlicensed water suppliers, the people of Ambujwadi are grappling with the rates enforced by authorized license-holders in order to meet the unnecessary and regressive rules that the BMC has imposed, they point out.
This is suspected to be a conspiracy of the water mafias, who used to sell water at exorbitant rates in nexus with BMC officials, so as to restrict the supply of cheap water and enable water mafias to continue selling water at high rates and of bad quality.
Meanwhile, the residents have taken upon themselves the responsibility of water supply in Ambujwadi. They have formed a voluntary committee, which includes two women and three men.
While women, under the leadership of Nirmala Singh and Shanta Mausi, take care of the accounts and the responsibility of supplying the 500 cans of water, men have begun facilitating the timely arrival of water in Ambujwadi.
Residents feel that there is a need to look to further minimize the cost of water and make it available to every family in Ambujwadi, for which they would require broader support. The need is also felt for a plan of action so that water supply reaches each family in Ambujwadi at the least possible cost.
---
*Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan, Mumbai

Comments

TRENDING

Noam Chomsky, top scholars ask NRIs to take stand on human rights violations in India

Counterview Desk
Renowned world scholars, including Noam Chomsky, James Petras, Angela Davis, Fredric Jameson, Bruno Latour, Ilan Pappe, Judith Butler, among others, have issued a statement castigating the Narendra Modi government for allegedly creating an environment of fear through arrests, intimidation and violence.

Actionable programme for 2019 polls amidst lynch mobs, caste violence, hate mongering

Counterview Desk
Reclaiming the Republic, a civil rights network, has released a document prepared under the chairmanship of Justice AP Shah (retired) -- and backed, among others, by Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan, bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander, economist Prabhat Patnaik, Right to transparency activist Anjali Bhardwaj and social scientist Yogendra Yadav  (click HERE for full list) -- with the "aim" of putting forth policy and legislative reforms needed to “protect” and “strengthen” the Constitutional safeguards for India’s democratic polity.

India under Modi "promoted" crony business, protected financial fraudsters, fueled bigotry

By Sandeep* and Rahul Pandey**
Narendra Modi's ascension to power was accompanied with jubilation and expectation. His supporters were expecting an end to era of corruption and initiation of good governance which was described as Achche Din. His party's adherence to idea of nationalism was believed to make India a vibrant country and guide India to be a world leader. He gave the slogan of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' conveying that his government was for all.
Corruption The government system is infested with corruption. A minimum of 10% is siphoned off from government schemes and projects, some of which goes back to political party in power and remaining is pocketed by various administrative, executive and political functionaries. This corruption continues and has increased. Now an additional Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) person working as Official on Special Duty or some equivalent position in every government department also has a share in this booty.
The Narendra M…

Inviting Rajapaksa to India "insult" to 1,40,000 Tamils killed by Sri Lankan army

Counterview Desk
In the context of Sri Lankan opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa being invited in India, about 75 human rights activists*, claiming to be concerned about rights violations during the civil war in Sri Lanka, especially in 2009, have joined together to express their dissent through a statement.

Modi wants Pak govt be held responsible for JeM terror strike: World doesn't agree

By Sandeep Pandey*
I went to participate in a candle light homage paying event at Dr BR Ambedkar's statue organised by about 200 Dalit students on Hazratganj main crossing in Lucknow on February 16, 2019 evening, two days after the dastardly terrorist act in Pulwana, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), in which 44 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel was killed.

Post-advisory, Govt of India appears reluctant to ban e-cigarettes, "harmful" to kids

By Rajiv Shah
Is the Government of India dilly-dallying over the issue of banning e-cigarettes, which have been declared by anti-tobacco activists across the world as providing “an entryway to nicotine addiction”, especially among the kids? It would seem so, if the latest developments are any guide.

A Godse legacy? BJP rulers have "refrained" from calling Gandhi Father of the Nation

By Dr Hari Desai*
What an agony! On one hand, the entire India is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but on the other side, so-called Hindu Mahasabha members have been found mock-enacting the killing of the Mahatma and celebrating the murder by distributing sweets!

No aadhaar, no ration? Hard blow by Gujarat govt on poor and marginalized

By Pankti Jog*
Only those who have aadhaar registration and linked it with ration card will get ration from a Public Distribution System (PDS) shop. This decision of the Gujarat government has hit very badly thousands of poor and marginalized communities of Gujarat, especially during the drought year.

Not just Indian women engineers, men too face sexual harassment at workplace: US study

By Rajiv Shah
A recent research, carried out jointly by two US-based non-profit organizations, Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and Center for WorkLife Law (WLL), based at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, has found that 45% of women engineers as against 28% of men engineers complained that it was perceived as “inappropriate when women argued at work, even when it was work-related.”

Anti-liquor march: Women padyatris "resolve" to occupy Karnataka state assembly

By Abhay, Swarna Bhat*
At a huge public convention held at Siddaganga Mutt on the Republic Day, January 26, 2019, in the presence of Sanehalli Sri Panditaradhya Swamiji, padyatris of the Madya Nishedha Andolana decided to intensify the ongoing liquor ban movement. A resolution passed at the convention, in which thousands of rural women joined in, the marching women declared that on reaching Bengaluru will “occupy Vidhan Soudha” on Mahatma Gandhi’s martyrdom day, January 30.