Mumbai, May 16: Over 100 people from Shahapur town in neighbouring Thane district have undertaken a march and are heading to the Chief Minister's Office here to register their protest on BMC drawing water from reservoirs in their area, when they themselves are reeling under scarcity.
These residents under the leadership of local BJP leader Santosh Shinde have termed this march as "Jaldindi Padyatra", (protest March for water) and have alleged that their soil is supplying water to crores of Mumbaikars but they themselves have been left thirsty which is "unjustified and inhuman".
"Through this padyatra, we too are demanding adequate water provision otherwise, we will stop the water which is being supplied to Mumbaikars from our soil," Shinde said. The outskirts of Shahapur tehsil have four reservoirs- --Bhatsa, Tansa, Modak Sagar and the Middle Vaitarna--which supplies 2,960 million litres of water to Mumbai every day through pipelines.
"The water which is supplied to Mumbaikars for a day will suffice us for the whole year. Can't BMC or state government do this ? Can't BMC arrange only for a day's water for us," asked Shinde. These protesting residents who embarked towards Mumbai on Saturday morning reached suburban Mulund today.
They would make a night halt in Lalbaug in South Mumbai and will try to reach the CMO via Azad Maidan tomorrow morning. "Very few Mumbaikars know that the water they use daily comes from our place, whereas we have to depend on unreliable government-chartered water tankers that hardly fill the gap between the demand and supply."
To add to woes, most of the MIDC units have been shut, which has made our youths unemployed, said Shinde.
"We are not opposing the water supply to Mumbaikars, but we are highlighting our problems by asking that when there is water around us, why we are dying thirsty..we have nothing to drink...we have to walk kilometres to fetch a bucket of water," he said.
Shinde said, "We want to clarify our stand to everyone including the BMC and the government that the residents of Shahapur want justice, failing which we will turn the taps off that supply water to Mumbaikars."