Death Toll up to 7 in Riots over Water Tanker Killing in Mumbai

The driver of the water tanker, Suresh Salve succumbed to his injuries in hospital, as the death toll in the ‘water tanker riot’ rose to 7. Harish Malvade, the guard who fired the first shot killing Pradeep Amre, the 11 year old boy from the local slum, is fighting for his life even as the police waits to question him. Sources say the gun was unlicensed.

The riot apparently broke out as the people from the slum tried to stop the tanker and ask for water. The driver tried to force the tanker through the crowd, injuring some people, and riot broke out. The driver was pulled out and almost beaten to death.

Meanwhile the parents of the boy, Pradeep Amre are leading a morcha of over a 100 slum dwellers demanding an investigation into why a thirsty young school boy was shot for trying to steal a water from the tanker. The Mumbai police are trying to bring the situation under control as the riots threaten to spread to other parts of Mumbai. The water situation continues to be precarious and water tankers are being brought in to Mumbai, but are often unable to get to their destination as they are waylaid by armed gangs.

This is the 3rd day of no piped water supply in Mumbai.

There are questions demanding to know why an armed guard was traveling with the water tanker. A news bureau report has confirmed that the guard was hired by the new Water Mafia that has emerged in Mumbai. Hotels and Housing Societies in the posher areas are now dealing directly with the Water Mafia to supply them with water as the BMC distribution systems have broken down, and the State Government is trying to bring the situation under control. Promising that supply lines will be restored as water becomes available. The reservoirs are low, as the demand in the city far outstrips the supply of water.

Meanwhile, the State Government has asked schools and colleges to shut down till the situation eases. Five Star hotels have become a refuge against the water crisis, and in the city are already full. Reportedly they are charging upwards of Rs 2 lacs per night, but are not taking any bookings over two nights as they cannot assure any water supply beyond that. Hotels too apparently are dealing directly with the Water Mafia.

Airlines and trains are reportedly showing heavy loads of people leaving Mumbai, and airlines are putting up more flights. The water crises is a financial bonanza for airlines and hotels in the short term, but the chairman of one airline said in a press conference that in the long term such a crisis will drastically reduce the amount of traffic in Mumbai.

The US government yesterday issued a travel warning to it’s citizens in Mumbai, and are reportedly moving staff to their other consulates within the country till the water crisis eases out.

Citizen groups are co operating with the police and the State Government. The biggest fear is that sectarian violence will break out as local political parties step up their call for a ban of entry of people to Mumbai. The State Government has appealed for calm and said any panic will only make matters worse. They are promising to repair the pipelines that have been damaged. Reports are coming through that some of the pipelines were deliberately damaged by the water mafia to create the shortage.

In the meantime the Army has been called in to ensure that water tankers get through to Hospitals and other essential services, but there have been reports that some of that water has been diverted to the houses of ministers.

Just 3 days into the Water Crisis, and people of Mumbai are living in fear. And in thirst. NGO groups are angry, saying they have been warning of this crisis for a long time. Mr Debankar Rao of the Dekho foundation says that if the recommendations of the Infrastructure Committee had been implemented, this crisis could have been averted :

a. Better Water Management, with 30% of Water wasted in leakages etc, and stopping the nexus between the municipal corporations and the water mafia.

b. More equitable distribution of water through a steep rise in water charges beyond certain levels of consumption.

c. Creating employment and education opportunities in rural areas through implementation of the Broadband Connectivity Policy, in order to stem the pressure on population in Mumbai.

35 Responses to “Death Toll up to 7 in Riots over Water Tanker Killing in Mumbai”

  1. Ganesh says:

    The Home video, not sure how many have watched already. A must watch for every citizen of the world.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqxENMKaeCU

    We are living in exceptional times. Scientists tell us that we have 10 years to change the way we live, avert the depletion of natural resources and the catastrophic evolution of the Earth’s climate.

    The stakes are high for us and our children. Everyone should take part in the effort, and HOME has been conceived to take a message of mobilization out to every human being.

    Regards
    Ganesh

  2. Jinendra Shah says:

    Forget oil, next world war will be driven by water scarcity.. Unless countries like India, Africa, Brazil, China don’t incentivize water conservation in real terms things won’t change. Alternative is huge investments in technology to transform sea water in to normal water and making it available interior areas.. This may look funny but that’s going to be the future. Real problem is not rain, Mumbai had enough rain but lacks reservoirs.. Simple as that..

  3. Bharati says:

    A shameful situation and a portent for a scary future. In the midst of so much scarcity, there is so much waste!I have seen taps left running, leaking pipelines and it makes my blood boil. When does Man learn to think of others besides himself? I even have to repeatedly remind my maid servant to close the tap properly. She herself has been going a distance to get drinking water for years and only recently has been filling up at my place, but does not register the seriousness of the situation and thinks I make unnecessary noise..
    We have to be responsible as Sadhguru says because what affects you affects me equally. In a not so distant future we will all be victims of water shortages and it is unbelievable that a Mafia exists already for water! Greed thy name is Man.

  4. abhishek says:

    where is the media on this. 3 days no news.
    they are more concern about the exit strategy of Indian team from Australia or the finger showing of a political brat.
    how can we hold on to optimism.

  5. That’s written so grippingly, quite close to a great report. Though I was wondering why the lede did not mention where in Mumbai. I now understand this is a short story, right? If so, shd have alerted the reader somewhere.. I was alarmed and started googling up for more..

    Here’s what I wrote about the water crisis.

    The business and politics of water- Kinley ad: Vishwas kar posted on my blog in Aug 2009 @shekharkapur

  6. neeti says:

    Good narrative, as if reading an Arthur Hailey edge of the seat kind of action !

  7. Hemant says:

    It is not a typical sad incident but a very touching one. While growing up in Rajasthan, one really understands the value of water. So one year it rained in Jaisalmer. 10-12 years old kids who later became my friends were playing outdoor when it started raining. They all couldn’t understand what was happening so they ran indoors screaming in fear, while their parents couldn’t stop laughing and celebrating. It took a great effort for the parents to explain that it was rain. That day was the first time those kids had experienced water falling from the sky.

  8. Rajeev Bhosale says:

    It shows that Water war is stated. Next probably IIIrd world war will be water war.

  9. Pensador says:

    sad history….
    🙁

  10. KayEm says:

    When I first read this I thought it was some kind of worse case scenario of what would happen if we ran out of water. It is soo scary that it is a real crisis, and man made at that. Yes the rains are to blame for the shortage but concerned and intelligent people in high places would’ve sat and deviced an alternative a long time ago. This was a crisis in waiting. When will India clamp down hard on corruption? When will it realise it is a war between brawn wanting a large piece of the pie without doing anything for the country and citizens, and brain, that unfortunately, doesn’t want to get involved in the bigger picture.

  11. Ashok says:

    It’s too scary to be true. I can’t imagine a situation when there will be a case as such, although as a middle-class citizen in Mumbai, I have had a few instances where there was no water for a couple of days and people largely relied on Handpumps (now not existent in most parts) for their survival.

    Most ironical is 5-star hotels provisioning water – it would be the saddest thing on earth. Poor people would die or thirst, while business thrives on something that nature provides!

    I can’t wait for the movie to come – hi Shekhar..when do you think it will be released tentatively?

  12. Fisher says:

    Sorry Shekhar, it won’t be a Box-Office hit. Anyway, after ‘Taare Zameen Par’ & ‘3 Idiots’, I’m eagerly looking forward to it.

    I hope that theme of Paani will make some of us realize the grim future of mankind & at least slow down the pace with which we’re digging our own graves, but you know human memory is very short.

    I also pray to god that let wisdom dawn on us before the story narrated in the Paani actually becomes a reality.

    Kudos to you, Shekhar! Let’s hope other Bollywood filmmakers also start understanding the power of intelligent cinema.

  13. David Kershaw says:

    India is a hopeless country where the slum dwellers are killed for asking water. It is a joke that a country that cannot feed itself has a space programme and nuclear weapons ! When all hell breaks loose in India due to overpolulation and water scarcity , it is not nuclear weapons but dry throats that will kill eachother in another dance of the Kali on a huge scale , something the indians worship anyway. This time there wont be anyone but Indians alone to blame.

    Shekhar Kapur , well done to show case and highlight this trend for the world to see the real India, something that many jingoist indians try to cover up or never address.

  14. Anand Menon says:

    Ideally should have had a indication marking it off as a story….. given you are active on twitter and hear..it could be mistaken for an incident reported…..

  15. Ganesh says:

    @ David Kershaw,

    Democracy is a myth. Democacy is not possible, it only a set of clouds castles built in dream. But there is no other way out!

    The Politicians want problems to persists as problems are only the genuine Kingmakers. Castes (as defined by politicians) are encouraged by politicians as it is the main kingmaker.

    So politicians will genuinely not want to sort out problems because, they will lose their seats when problems become lesser and lesser.

    The existence and creation of issues are the only master mind weapon for the politicians survival, each other, ie, the ruling and the opposition.

    One of the biggest blunder of India’s past is dividing the country on language basis, and, adopting multi party system.

    Democracy means, everybody is king, it is rationally impossible. Everybody cannot be a king.

    Monarchism seemed better. India would have been an ideal Kingdom.

    Regards
    Ganesh

  16. Smitha says:

    David Kershaw,

    I hope Rudra will answer your comments with a befitting response. But i am not sure Shekhar Kapur is honest enough to post Rudra’s messages . Shekhar can you confirm ? Or may be true to his word , Rudra has stopped writing on this blog completely.

    Rudra , if you are reading this blog please dont stop writing. there are some of us who look for your messages. thank you.

  17. shekhar says:

    I am sorry but I stopped our blog from becoming a personal war of words between extreme points of view. There is enough of that in this world and unless there is fundamental understanding between people and cultures, a fundamental desire to understand, if not agree, with another’s point of view, then this blog will be usurped by extremism which I am sure no one wants. We have had years of exchange of ideas that has been really enjoyable, and we should keep it at that. So I have not published some responses (including from Rudra and David) becaus eall they will do is inflame another war of words and usurp a really beautifully written blog by Horst about a remarkable man with a remarkable point of view. I welcome both Rudra and David to write if they wish,

    Shekhar

  18. Ronak says:

    If this is a scene from Paani, then its gritty and electrifying at the same time. I think with this kind of vision, you are going to have a ball shooting this film!

    All the best, Sir.

    Please make a gritty and dark film like Bandit Queen – which in my honest opinion was your masterpiece (even without any Academy nominations!). It will be intriguing to watch these riot scenes creating havoc in mumbai slums.

    Considering the tone and the theme, hope that you plan a minimal budget – the aesthetics will be more significant than the cosmetics.

    The only odd thing may be to see the Mumbai slum dwellers speaking in English (even in a futuristic mumbai).

    Have been cynical about your choice casting of Hrithik Roshan in this one, but after watching the reloaded Agneepath – I guess Hrithik can pull-off a challenging role of a slum-dwelling rebel. That guy seems to be a Director’s actor.

  19. Sriram J says:

    Sir,

    In continuation to my earlier post “Water….Where is it? Aren’t we Ashamed of our self ??!!!” this one is on the quality of the ground water and that too in a so called upper middle class locality in Chennai where the flats are yet to come by way of demolishing the individual houses. But with only individual houses around, the color and quality of water is so pathetic, i shudder to imagine the quality and also the depths to be burrowed to bring up water so as to serve the occupants of the flats. Currently the individual buildings houses an average of 4 inmates, if apartments comes in..then god only save us.. http://casualphotography.blogspot.in/2012/03/over-head-water-tanks-various.html

  20. Arvinder Kaur says:

    “A Blessed Day Shekherji
    A Heart Rendering Story if Fiction Gripping If Real Its Saddening. The State Is Bad and Becoming Worse With Every Passing Year. State Machinery Refuses To Take Responsibility The Only Answer Would be Frugality on The Part Of The Users And Harvesting Rain Water Indivdually For Each Household Every Society And Every Hotel Leaving The Mafia Who Thrive On Weaknesses of Mankind.
    I Hope The Movie Comes Up With Ways Of Harvesting Rain Water Which Is Free Gift of Nature. Empower The Man As Empowering of Woman In Bandit Queen Dispute Her Ruined Spirit. God Bless Our Leaders With Sanity And Compassion For All. :

  21. Saagar says:

    I guess its time for all of you too read and understand The Secret,

    There would not be any Water War…

  22. Ritesh says:

    Is it a real news or storyline of a upcoming film? I do not mean to deny the possibility but just to know whether we have already witnessed it. thanks

  23. Manju Ray says:

    Importance of water is realised only when there is scarecity.. The moment we get it back we forget its importance… We should realise this and practice to save water and imbibe the habit in our children………….

  24. Anagha says:

    It is Jul 16, 2012 and the skies tease us with dark clouds that don’t seem too happy to pour out. The gloom is so heavy, a strange silence pervades and i realize i can’t hear many birds. That’s when i find myself staring at the dark grey masses willing them to burst forth.

    Read the Jul 3 article in HT re-tweeted by you. Shekhar, this post of yours is not a story, is it. It is a prophecy about to come true in the very very soon future if the rain gods don’t smile upon us. I wonder how you are going to maintain an elephant in such drought conditions. Your own body could turn out to be a white elephant, don’t you think?

  25. Tarique Hassan says:

    ANNASAGAR IN MASHKIZA
    (Water war in Ajmer 800 years ago)

    

Once in Ajmer, the soldiers of Raja Prithviraj chauhan in their subdued grudge refused to let anyone use PAANI from the Annasagar lake!

    Upon this the Khwaja Saheb asked one of his followers to fetch some PAANI for him to perform wudhu for namaz. Follower goes to the lake and asks the soldier who was guarding the lake from poor people not to steal PAANI. Follower tells soldier that its for Khwaja Saheb and he needs it for wudhu, so he can perform namaz, Soldier didn’t listen to the follower and told him that its an order from Raja Prithviraj Chauhan not to let anyone use PAANI from Annasagar, bcoz its a precious lake and its only for him and his family!!

    When follower told everything to Khwaja Saheb, he simply told his follower to go once again and take this Mashkiza (a small bag for carrying water) and little far from the lake you just tell Annasagar that Khwaja has called you, then put down Mashkiza on the ground.

    The follower did exactly what khwaja saheb told him to do, As he puts down the Mashkiza, the entire PAANI of the whole Anasagar lake mysteriously disappeared into it miraculously.

    This miracle caused an unprecedented awe and consternation in the city.
 

    Tarique Hassan

  26. Tarique Hassan says:

    ANNASAGAR IN MASHKIZA
    (Water war in Ajmer 800 years ago
)

    Once in Ajmer, the soldiers of Raja Prithviraj chauhan in their subdued grudge refused to let anyone use PAANI from the Annasagar lake!

    Upon this the Khwaja Saheb asked one of his followers to fetch some PAANI for him to perform wudhu for namaz. Follower goes to the lake and asks the soldier who was guarding the lake from poor people not to steal PAANI. Follower tells soldier its for Khwaja Saheb and he needs it for wudhu, so he can perform namaz, Soldier didn’t listen to the follower and told him that its an order from Raja Prithviraj Chauhan not to let anyone use PAANI from Annasagar, bcoz its a precious lake and its only for him and his family!!

    When follower told everything to Khwaja Saheb, he simply told his follower to go once again and take this Mashkiza (a small bag for carrying water) and little far from the lake you just tell Annasagar that Khwaja has called you, then put down Mashkiza on the ground.

    The follower did exactly what khwaja saheb told him to do, As he puts down the Mashkiza, the entire PAANI of the whole Anasagar lake mysteriously disappeared into it miraculously.

    This miracle caused an unprecedented awe and consternation in the city.
 

  27. I, on behalf of NEERANJALI, would like to be associated with you for the cause.

    Thanks & good wishes

    Sarika Baheti

  28. shekhar says:

    thank you

  29. Eileen says:

    Dear mister Shekhar,
    I have readed that you search a female role for the movie paani, the story of the movie is very interesting and the thoughts are fantastic. I am from Germany and i haven’t found an email adress to contact someone because of the auditions.
    I hope you can help me.
    thank you and all the best

    Eileen K.

  30. Pallav says:

    There have been wars like iraq (for oil, we know now they didn’t had any chemical weapons), indo-pak, indo-china, israel-Philistines ( for land ).
    Humans were and always be ignorant and selfish , i guess that’s how god made us to be. We learned what war causes ,only pain still i see people supporting wars. It is human nature to forget and although its good to try to change and hope for better future but don’t keep any high expectations.

    and about the movie please keep it real and also interesting with morals too (i know you do that but i have seen so many people making good movies but nobody watches them as they are uninteresting)

    Pallav

  31. Subodh Deshpande says:

    you may find some interesting information realted to panni on this site http://www.wearewater.org/

    Thanks
    Subodh

  32. Water scarity is a big election plank. It is used by every prospective leader of public opinion to pitch a case for himself/herself. Alas, millions live without it and one may watch many making a beeline to fetch water from unauthorised water tankers.

  33. Surabhi says:

    Pranaam Shekhar ji

    Water scarcity! Water war! The consequences are proving to be profound. Across the globe, huge areas in the crisis today, as reservoirs and aquifers dry up. In future, far more serious conflicts are likely to erupt as the planet dries up.
    Water is taught by Thirst. And people must understand that the groundwater is our strategic reserve. It’s our backup, and so where do you go when the backup is gone? Nature’s gift has been vote bank for our politicians. Sharing global list of water-related conflicts grows http://desert.sn/1TrE9yL
    Thanks for sharing. Please start your project – PAANI. It’s a long wait.
    Regards

    Surabhi

  34. Surabhi says:

    Pranaam Shekhar ji

    Wonderfully narrated! A very scary future!
    These days police teams have been visiting housing societies not for an update on house break-ins and street crimes, but to ensure there are no fights over water. Tensions over water will increase as shortages mount. Is it possible to avoid violent conflicts over this fundamental resource?
    Water has clearly become a scarce resource in a growing number of regions. The use, ownership of and access to water give rise to tensions which will only be exacerbated as time goes on.
    It is already foreseeable that tensions over water will increase at a faster rate over the time. The growing demand for water, the decline of freshwater availability, and the harmful health effects of ingesting poor quality water will stir up violence and lead to water wars. Thanks for sharing.
    Regards

    Surabhi

  35. Nilima says:

    Hello Shekhar

    I totally agree with you.. Yes the future seems very bleak and although it is already late the facts need to be presented to the all the earthlings.. What better than Shekhar Kapoor Movie.
    I would love to be part of the paani movie making.. If I can help raise money or any technical help please let me know. I have this passion for creation.. creating anything which leaves impact on people, but first it has created an impacted me to compel me to create it.

    warm regards
    Nilima

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