Thursday, July 29, 2010

Mumbai: Now, cops under scanner for water-related offences, News - City - Mumbai Mirror

Now, cops under scanner for water-related offences, News - City - Mumbai Mirror

Now, cops under scanner for water-related offences

Shivaji Nagar, Deonar police allegedly set up booster pumps to enhance supply; ironically, they have filed the most cases against the water mafia in the city

Nazia Sayed

Posted On Thursday, December 31, 2009 at 02:08:13 AM

The Shivaji Nagar and Deonar police, who have together registered the maximum number of cases against the water mafia in the city, have themselves come under the scanner for alleged water-related offences.

It has been found that both these police stations have set up booster pumps in their premises to enhance water supply. What’s more, the water connection to these two police stations is itself questionable.

The booster pump (circled and right) seen in the premises of the Shivaji Nagar Police Station

Since November, the Deonar police seized 17 booster pumps and arrested 22 people for illegal water theft, while the Shivaji Nagar police confiscated 164 booster pumps and arrested 104 people.

As per BMC rules, the use of booster pumps to enhance supply is illegal, and those involved in such acts can be booked under criminal charges.

Accordingly, both these police stations booked those found using booster pumps under Sections 379 (punishment for theft), 430 (mischief by injury to works of irrigation or by wrongfully diverting water), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the IPC.

Speaking on the two police stations, Deputy Municipal Commissioner of M East Ward Milind Sawant said, “Setting up booster pumps is illegal. If they have done so, we will take action against them, too. But right now, our priority is to crack down on the water mafia.”

When asked about the authenticity of the water connections to the two police stations, Sawant replied, “I will have to verify that first.”

Assistant Engineer Arun Kadam of M East Ward neither confirmed nor denied that the water connections at the police stations were illegal. Kadam said, “The connection given by us to the Shivaji Nagar Police Station is just a diversion from the main supply. Actually there are two connections given to the Shivaji Nagar police, but as supply is inadequate, a third connection was given from the closest water line.”

When contacted, Assistant Commissioner of Police Kaiser Baig said, “Please ask the BMC. I am not an engineer.”

Joint Commissioner of Police Himanshu Roy, however, said that strict action would be taken against those responsible for diverting water illegally. “We will definitely look into the matter and take appropriate action if anyone is found guilty,” he said.

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