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Mumbai: BMC to deliver six to eight hours continuous water supply to 184 Bandra buildings

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The Water Distribution Improvement Project (WDIP) was launched in Mumbai four years ago yet, the trial process began earlier in August in the H-West ward (Bandra West). Residents from Chapel Road and Mount Mary claim that they have low pressure in their water supply, which restricts them from filling up their tanks properly.

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Civic officials claim that by November, the Bandra-Santacruz stretch will receive up to eight hours of continuous water supply. In June 2014, as part of the pilot project, work was taken up in H-west (Bandra) and T wards (Mulund). Yet, four years down the line, the process is just beginning. Reports in the Mid-Day quoted officials from BMC’s hydraulic engineering department as saying that they have started the process more than two weeks ago, after fitting 11 pressure regulating valves and two altitude valves.

Civic officials also said that 184 buildings in Bandra Reclamation, Chapel Road and VP Road, which were previously receiving water supply for three hours, are now getting it for six to eight hours. “We need a couple of months to complete the stabilisation of the water pressure. Depending on the water supply available, we will try to provide between six and eight hours of continuous water supply in all of H-west ward,” said an official from the hydraulic engineering department. Buildings in the Mount Mary area are currently being worked upon.

Residents, as mentioned earlier are upset with the water pressure being quite low and with the fact that many of the older buildings are not even able to fill their tanks. Crystal D’mello, a resident of Chapel Road, said, “We’re not concerned with getting water 24 hours a day if our tanks are not getting filled up. In some buildings, societies don’t allow usage of water for more than an hour and it becomes difficult to complete all the daily chores in that time.”

Mario Fishery, a member of an ALM representing buildings on Chapel Road and Baroda Road, said, “The older buildings, especially those in the Gaothan areas, don’t have underground tanks. Since the testing phase began, the water pressure is very low and their overhead tanks are not receiving adequate water. This feedback has been sent to authorities, who are working closely with the residents to help resolve the issues.”

The Mid-day report also stated that Congress corporator Asif Zakaria blamed the BMC for not planning the trial process well and said he has received complaints of water shortage from buildings on Station Road, Kadeshwari, Pimpleshwarwadi and other elevated areas in Bandra for the last couple of weeks. “The BMC should have given more information to the public before springing the trial on them. People living in the Gaothans are disgruntled as they were caught unawares. Even if BMC provides 24/7 water supply, there is no point of WDIP without pressure,” he said. He added that though the project is a good initiative, it has not been executed well, thus putting people off.

Civic officials maintained that they had previously warned residents about some fluctuations in the water supply during the testing phase. “We’re trying to find the right pressure and are taking feedback from people. The trial process will continue till September 30 and by then, we will try to improve the water supply. Once there is continuous supply, chances of line breakages and water contamination will go down,” said the official. Completion of this pilot project will help the rents in the area too, according to real estate agents.

Karim Pradhan, a real estate broker in the Bandra-Santacruz vicnity, said, “In comparison to other areas that don’t have water supply for longer than a couple of hours, this will be an advantage. Rent for residential properties can be expected to increase by 10 per cent,” he said.

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