The civic body on Monday demolished 110 structures that had encroached upon a water main at the Navrang and Sanaullah Compounds in Dharavi. This pipeline supplies water to all parts of south Mumbai. The encroachments were preventing the BMC from conducting vital valve operations that help to divert water to other areas like Mahim.
The water main is of approximately 8 ft in diameter and a person can walk into it even with raised hands. The demolitions have been going on since July 5 when 238 structures on the water main were demolished.
The demolitions took place after a Bombay high court order to remove the structures on the water main in a phasewise manner by 2012.
The high court had heard the petition when NGO Janhit Manch had filed a PIL in 2006 stating that people living on the water mains can cause considerable damage to them. “The pipelines have valves for operation. For example, one pipeline caters to the residents from Byculla to Colaba and if I want to divert the water flow to Bandra, valves are provided. But because of encroachments on the Dharavi water main pipeline, even valve operation was difficult for the BMC’s hydraulics department,” said Devendra Jain, assistant commissioner, G (north) ward.
“As many as 110 structures more were demolished on Monday. We had to follow procedures as per law. The encroachers had to submit documents to prove their eligibility. The cut-off date was January 1, 1995. About 140 residential eligible structures were given alternate accommodation in Mankhurd and 26 eligible commercial units were given alternate space in various municipal markets,” said Jain.