NAVI MUMBAI: The civic body will now provide water to every residential building and establishment not having occupancy certificate (OC) as per commercial rates as an interim measure. The decision was taken by the municipal commissioner after a month-long deliberation. Submission of OC has been mandatory to get water connections from NMMC till now. The new move is intended to address problems such as tackling the loss caused due to unaccounted water supplied by tanker lobby, laying of illegal connections and even health concerns.
“The water being sold through tankers or other means also comes from Morbe dam but there is no accountability of the water availed and there were also hygiene concerns. Taking all these factors into consideration, it was considered beneficial for NMMC to supply water at commercial rates,” said municipal commissioner Tukaram Mundhe.
The new stance by NMMC will matter for the 150-odd high-rises adjacent to Palm Beach Road, which have no OC, as they are yet to get clearance from Maharashtra Coastal Zone Regulatory Authority (MCZRA). “If NMMC is going to provide water it will be a major relief as we are dependent on tankers for water as we don’t have the OC. Our building comprising 500 flats needs 40 to 50 tankers of 10,000 litre water. Until now the builder has been paying the bills of Rs 25 lakh a month,” said Samir Malwade, a resident of Palm Beach Residency, sector 4.
Officials pointed out that the arrangement doesn’t mean the structures are regularized as ward offices have been issued notices that the provision is only an interim relief with no changes in the buildings’ status.
Civic officials also said, this move will help reduce problems of illegal connections and pilfering. As per 2015 audit, almost 19% of the water supplied by the NMMC was diverted or stolen through illegal connections or pilferage. “It is understood that once residents have direct access to water all illegal activities will cease and eventually benefit NMMC,” said additional commissioner Ankush Chavan.
Credits ET Realty