Mumbai: Water Crisis Grips Gorai Village For Over A Decade - Fishermen Community Struggles For Relief

Mumbai: Water Crisis Grips Gorai Village For Over A Decade - Fishermen Community Struggles For Relief

Residents assert that Gorai's water scarcity issue dates back over 13 years, despite having legal water connections. The taps in every household remain dry, compelling families to rely on costly tanker water or compromised water sources.

RUCHA KANOLKARUpdated: Wednesday, April 24, 2024, 10:30 PM IST
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Mumbai: Water Crisis Grips Gorai Village For Over A Decade - Fishermen Community Struggles For Relief |

Mumbai: Nearly 5,000 families residing in Gorai village have endured ten days without a drop of water from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). In a bid to mitigate the crisis, many have resorted to purchasing water from tankers at exorbitant prices, while others make do with brackish, impure water from village wells and lakes, according to local residents.

Residents assert that Gorai's water scarcity issue dates back over 13 years, despite having legal water connections. The taps in every household remain dry, compelling families to rely on costly tanker water or compromised water sources.

Switsy Henriques, President of the Gorai Villagers Welfare Association, lamented the persistent nature of the problem, citing excuses of low pressure from the BMC, she said, "This ongoing water supply issue has plagued our village for many years. The BMC often attributes it to low pressure, yet curiously, whenever a politician pays a visit, water flows smoothly for 2-3 days, only to revert to scarcity thereafter. The cost of a water tanker ranges from ₹500 to ₹850, inclusive of transportation charges, and there's a considerable waiting list. Many are left with no choice but to procure water from Uttan or neighboring villages.”

Henriques accused officials of ignoring illegal connections, pointing out exorbitant fees for new water connections and irregular meter readings. "Legalizing connections would alleviate the water scarcity issue," she argued.

The water crisis has disproportionately affected neighborhoods like Dui pada and Vairala pada, where residents lack alternative water sources due to saline marshes. Women from Dui pada have been forced to defecate in the open due to the unavailability of water for sanitation.

Royston Godinho, a resident, described the dire situation, noting, I've been a resident of this village since birth, and it's disheartening to witness its decline over the past 13 years due to the lack of proper water supply. Elderly women and lone senior citizens in our community struggle to fetch water, often unable to carry heavy loads. Despite having a legal water connection, I receive no water from my house tap. Despite diligently paying our bills, there's a fear that our water connections may be severed if we halt payments."

Another resident, Desmond Paul, highlighted challenges in accessing tanker water due to narrow roads, he said, "Challenges accessing tanker water persisted in Lower and Upper Koliwada due to the narrow roads, which hindered tanker movement. We have to manually transport water in vessels by foot. Villagers relying on wells for purposes other than drinking face issues with water quality, exacerbated by deteriorating well conditions and contamination from clothes washing nearby."

Sandhya Nandedkar, assistant commissioner of the ward, explained the impact of the long water pipeline and citywide water cuts on Gorai's residents. "As the area is far from the creek, the water pipeline is lengthy, resulting in low pressure," Nandedkar stated. "However, BMC water tankers are being dispatched to the area as an interim measure."

Villagers are compelled to rely on tanker or bottled water for drinking, while women resort to using lake water for washing clothes and utensils, despite the associated risks. The contamination of historic wells further exacerbates health hazards among residents.

Despite appeals to BMC authorities and promises of infrastructure improvements, villagers remain disillusioned by the lack of tangible action. Allegations of illegal water connections benefiting resorts and households underscore systemic issues exacerbating the water crisis.

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