The right to drink water is a basic right, according to the Bombay High Court, which was hearing a case over a water supply breakdown in Thane village. A Bench of Justices SJ Kathawalla and Milind Jadhav made the remarks while hearing a plea from inhabitants of Kambe village in Thane district, Maharashtra, who were demanding daily drinking water supply. The Bombay High Court stated on Wednesday that access to safe drinking water is a basic right, and that it is sad that residents still have to knock on the Court's doors for water even after 75 years of independence (Shobha Vikas Bhoi & Ors. v. State of Maharashtra & Ors.) While hearing a plea submitted by inhabitants of Kambe village in Thane district, Maharashtra, seeking daily supply of drinking water, a bench comprising Justices SJ Kathawalla and Milind Jadhav made the remarks.
The petitioners stated that their hamlet only receives water twice a month, and only for around 2 hours each time. "This is a fundamental right for them." People cannot be made to suffer in this way. “It is very regrettable that they (petitioners) must knock on the court doors for water even after 75 years of independence,” the Court stated. The petitioners requested that instructions be granted to STEM Water Distribution and Infra Company Pvt Ltd, which is in charge of water delivery in the affected regions, to supply water to the petitioners' hamlet on a daily basis. On Wednesday, the Managing Director of STEM stated that water was delivered to the village on a daily basis, but only to one location, and that distribution from that point to the whole hamlet was the duty of the gramme panchayat. The demand for water has also grown in recent years as a result of population growth, indicating that the system needs to be upgraded, according to the MD. The Court, on the other hand, summoned the MD, inquiring as to what the residents were meant to do till the system was upgraded.
The Court also issued a warning to the local authorities, advising them to take proper measures to avoid judicial sanctions. They claimed that STEM was unlawfully providing water to local politicians and tanker lobbyists, and that the main pipeline had over 300 illegal water hookups and valves. When the MD tried to explain that STEM's efforts to remove illicit connections were greeted with villagers' objections, the Court told him he needed to produce an affidavit and set a hearing date for September 9, 2021.
Tags : #Bombay High Court #Maharashtra Government #Drinking Water