Muhammad Jabir Khan is a tailor by profession but his work has not started after the lockdown was relaxed. He has approval from the BMC for the water connection but the contractors are demanding Rs 35,000 he said. “I spend Rs 60 per day on water for my family of five people. My work has not started after the lockdown and there is no earning. I was not able to pay the school fees of my children this year so they are not able to attend their online classes. Now, the contractor is asking a huge amount for water connection. I cannot afford it,” Khan said.
In slums, five households adjacent to each other are given one water connection. It first gets approval from the BMC and they have to deposit Rs 500 each. Then they pay to a contractor or certified plumber for the pipeline and water meter which comes out around Rs 10,000.
Rais Azad has a family of seven people and spends Rs 100 daily to buy water. “We get tankers or get it from the nearby basti. We have been fighting to get water connection to our Ambujwadi since 2010. I applied in 2014 but haven’t got the connection yet. Our people had protested in 2015 at the BMC office but did not get any assurance. Even the High Court has ruled in our favour. But these contractors are not ready to charge the right price,” Azad said.
Ambujwadi is a