If everything goes according to plan, Mumbaikars could soon get water from ‘water ATMs’ at a minimal cost at public spots across the city.
According to the Hindustan Times, Civic chief Praveen Pardeshi has ordered all ward officials to identify five spots — slums, hawker zones, tourist spots, gardens, malls, etc — where water vending machines can be set up to provide clean drinking water to citizens. Citizens will have to pay a minimal cost for getting water from the ATMs. “The prices have not been decided yet, but it will be fixed along the lines of the Railways’ water vending machines initiative. We are not looking at this project from a revenue point of view,” an official told the leading daily.
The civic body is currently waiting for a nod from its legal department to figure out the legalities for implementing the move, after which the BMC will decide on the number of spots and float tenders. The water to be provided to these machines will be supplied by the BMC. Sitaram Shelar, convener of Pani Haq Samiti told the Hindustan Times, “There were around 2,500 pyaus [water drinking facilities] across the city that were shut by the BMC more than a decade ago citing leakages and hygiene issues. Now, the BMC wants to bring a similar concept and charge citizens to pay for something that was available for free. Also, while the BMC wants to install water vending machines, there are nearly 1,000 water supply connections that have not been approved yet.”