VASAI : It seems Vasai-Virar residents have been cursed to face acute water problems, every summer forever. The residents have to not only tackle water shortage problems but also the tanker mafia.
Certain groups also use water pressure booster pumps to extract maximum water from the water sources. Santosh Bhavan, Bilal Pada, Dhaniv Baug, Nagindas Pada, Bhoida Pada, Chandansar, Gala Nagar etc are some of the areas in Vasai Virar Municipal Corporation (VVMC) jurisdiction who are completely dependent on tankers.
Deputy Mayor Rupesh Jadhav said, “Lot of people have migrated from Mumbai to Vasai-Virar region, making this the fastest growing municipal corporation. Hence there is maximum stress on existing water resources. Work on Deherja dam in Vikramgad is in full swing and should be completed in next two or three years.”
VVMC caters to approximate 21 lakh citizens. It has seen a rapid increase in people shifting here, mainly from Mumbai, because of its economical housing options. This has been a reason for water scarcity wherein the supply has remained constant or reduced but demand has increased by the minute.
Late realization of the municipal corporation towards water problems has only further aggravated this situation. The other important aspect in Vasai Virar region that has troubled most of them is illegal construction. Water and electric supply is provided to all these residents which is also considered as a major reason.
During summer water is sold at very high prices; almost 100/150 rupees for 200 liters or shell out almost 2000 rupees for a tanker. The easy access that tanker mafia have to water resources is something that puzzles the locals.
If there is water scarcity then it should be applicable to all and not just the residents. They also complain that the local authorities have failed to keep a check on tanker mafia. People who cannot afford this expensive commodity, water, are forced to walk almost 3 kilometer to fetch water from the leakages to main line. They have to go all the way to the NH 8 risking their lives. Situation sometimes is very grim when even small children are forced to walk for kilometers in this scorching heat to fetch water. People are only waiting for things to improve in this region and are hoping that the latest change in leadership would make a difference.