The Telegraph
Thursday , January 30 , 2014
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Sachin on water bill defaulter list

Mumbai, Jan. 29: Runs have flowed like water from Sachin Tendulkar’s bat. Now his water dues have run up a score higher than the master blaster’s Test record.

The cricketer, along with the late Bal Thackeray, are among two lakh consumers who have not paid their water bills, according to a list the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation released yesterday on its website.

Civic officials said the BMC needed to recover over Rs 1,000 crore from these consumers, including commercial, domestic and industrial users as on January 16, although no break-up was available to indicate if all those named were defaulters or some had been under-charged or been billed late.

Thackeray, for instance, passed away in November 2012. The late Shiv Sena patriarch figures in the list for unpaid dues of Rs 1.15 lakh.

The names of Tendulkar and his wife Anjali figure twice in the list, which covers all the 24 wards in Mumbai. The amounts due for the water they used at their 19 Perry Cross Road address in Bandra are Rs 16,640 and Rs 16,282 — higher than the Little Master’s record Test tally of 15,921 runs.

The list also names several other prominent residents, including Nargis Antulay, wife of former Maharashtra chief minister A.R. Antulay, who has run up dues of Rs 48,777, according to the BMC website.

India Bull Real Estate, which owns the India Bulls Finance Centre at Dadar, figures among several construction firms with dues of Rs 8,72,052.

Samajwadi Party leader Abu Asim Azmi has also made it to the defaulters’ roll — for unpaid dues for a hotel premises.

Sena sources said the Thackeray family would cross-check the pending bills and promptly pay the Rs 1,15,625 if the amount was due.

The Tendulkars were not available for comment. While the bill for Rs 16,640 was categorised as “commercial” and the other one as “domestic”, it was not clear for what period they had remained outstanding.

The ward officer of “H” ward, which covers Bandra West, couldn’t be reached. Additional municipal commissioner Rajeev Jalota, who supervises the hydraulic engineering department, was also unavailable for comment.

In January 2010, when Mumbai had faced a severe water shortage, Tendulkar had joined a high visibility “save water campaign” launched by the civic body. He shot for a short film in which he told Mumbai citizens that he had switched to “bucket bath” instead of a shower bath to save water, and urged them to follow suit.

Cricket fans would have had no problem with their hero’s bathroom thrift. He made up with the runs.