Life near water pipes!
Hindu mythology believes that water is one of the five elements around which the
human life revolves. In Mumbai, this truism takes an ironical, or even sad form. With a population of more than 15 million, the city’s drinking water is transported into the city from natural lakes 100 kms away into huge water pipes, many of them installed by the British over 150 years ago.
These serpentine water pipelines run through some of the most congested localities in the city. To service these pipelines, the municipal corporation had barred any development near them. But, as migration into Mumbai increased over the last two decades, flourishing hutment colonies mushroomed around these pipelines. The logic for making their illegal homes here was simple: easiest access to drinking water. Pipelines are punctured at intervals by hutment dwellers to pilfer water, while the legal citizens face drinking water shortages and complain of contamination.
This photo-series captures this ongoing tussle between the marginalized and legal citizens.