After Bombay HC intervention, Thane village gets daily tanker water supply as ‘immediate measure’

A division bench of Justice S J Kathawalla and Justice Milind N Jadhav had directed the state government to provide water to Kambe village in Bhiwandi at the earliest.

After the Bombay High Court intervened and directed the state government to give water to residents of a village in Thane district, who get water only twice a month, the government on Tuesday submitted that as an “immediate measure” it has started supplying drinking water by arranging about 10 tankers per day during Ganesh festival from September 10.

A division bench of Justice S J Kathawalla and Justice Milind N Jadhav had directed the state government to provide water to Kambe village in Bhiwandi at the earliest.

The bench was hearing a petition filed by the residents of Kambe, argued through advocate R D Surywanshi, who had alleged that as the village has 300 illegal water connections, they are not provided regular supply.

The court had observed that not being provided regular supply of water was “a blatant mockery of fundamental right” and directed officials of STEM Water Distribution and Infra Company Pvt Ltd — a joint venture between the Thane zilla parishad and Bhiwandi Nizampur City Municipal Corporation — to be present before it for hearing.

On Tuesday, Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni submitted an additional affidavit filed through Bhausaheb Bansi Dangade, CEO, Zilla Parishad, Thane, having additional charge of MD, STEM, in compliance with the September 9 HC order.

Dangade tendered an unconditional apology for his earlier conduct in the court and “unequivocally” assured that issues raised by the petitioner would be resolved.

Dangade stated that the meeting of officers, including BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal, BMC BMC Additional Commissioner Suresh Kakani and Thane civic body commissioner Vipin Sharma among others, was held on September 9. It was decided that a special drive would be conducted and completed by the end of this month for disconnecting and/or removal of all illegal and unauthorised water supply connections supplying drinking water to Kambe village, and an action plan has been prepared for the same.

The affidavit stated that the water supplied on “immediate measure” through tankers with capacity of over 10000 litres is from Temghar Water Treatment Plant and the same is potable. The village panchayat will be responsible for further distribution of tanker water to the households.

The STEM said that a “long term solution” involving acquisition of land for laying the new pipeline will be taken up expeditiously, and it may not be possible to give a definite deadline for the same at this stage.
The HC will hear the plea at the end of this month.

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