In a bid to ensure the city’s vulnerable 400-km pipelines are not further encroached, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has appointed a security company which will be responsible for the protection of the pipelines. As per the plan, retaining walls and fences will be constructed and guards will be deployed to secure the pipelines.
Water pipelines from Mulund to Powai, from Powai to Bandra via Dharavi and Sahar, from Powai to Sion via Ghatkopar and from Mulund to Sion on the Eastern express highway will be protected by a joint venture of BVG (India) Limited and Crystal Tradecom private limited. These companies will secure the pipelines at a cost of Rs 68 crore for a period of two years.
The move has come after the Bombay High Court slammed the civic body for its inability to secure the pipelines which are encroached by 25,000 slum-dwellers with 15,000 legal hutments. A Newsline report titled “Dangerous pipe dream” in 2006 highlighted how over 33,000 people — many with ration cards—- were living in shanties on the pipelines which bring water to the metropolis and are therefore meant to be heavily guarded by the BMC’s 3,000-strong security force. The report prompted a PIL in the High Court.
Dhanya Nair for Indian Express