Almost immediately after The Free Press Journal carried a new report exposing massive anomalies in the water distribution system by privately hired carriers, the water supply department in the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) slapped a show-cause notice to the contractor.
The notice was issued by the executive engineer- Suresh Vakode to a private water tanker providing agency identified as Shruti Enterprises. House leader - Prashant Dalvi (BJP) had also raised the issue in the general body house seeking action against the contractor.
Apart from allegations of lack of Global Positioning System (GPS) devices, various discrepancies’ in the distribution system and violation of contract conditions including- tankers operating sans mandated road clearances and above all rusty interiors of water tanks which could trigger hazardous chemical reaction while ferrying potable drinking water to citizens, had been pointed out, prompting the civic administration to seek a clarification on all the issues from the contractor.
“ Despite visible violations of contract terms, the administration is clearly sheltering the contractor by playing a game of notice-notice,” alleged Dalvi while seeking blacklisting of the contractor. The MBMC has deployed a private contractor to ferry water from the tanker filling point in Bhayandar to various destinations across the twin-city. While Rs.1,000 ( buildings) and Rs. 500 (slums) is charged per tanker from the end user, the private operator gets Rs 585 per trip.
It is mandatory for every water tanker hired by the MBMC to install GPS devices to keep track of routes and record real-time information of the movement and frequency of tankers.
However, with no proper monitoring system, there have been allegations of the operator being hand-in-glove with the notorious water mafia to inflate the number of trips on the virtue of manipulated records. This apart from in-transit thefts via transfer of water to smaller tankers.