Though water levels in all the five lakes is receding, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials have said that this year Mumbaikars will not face water shortage, as there is enough water to last till mid-July. The claims are being made despite the current water deficit of 88,827 million litres. On June 13, 2011, the collective amount of water in the lakes was 1,27,730 million litres in comparison to this year’s 83,903 million litres.
“Although the levels seem to be low as compared to last year, we are not going by that. As per the city’s needs, there is enough water till July 15,” a senior official from the Water Department said. He added that no water is being supplied to drought-hit villages as they do not fall under the BMC’s jurisdiction. “The water, 20 per cent of which is kept in reserve, is never accounted into data and is kept on standby for emergency situations,” the official said. “Once it starts raining, the water level in the lakes will increase, and there will be more than enough water for the entire city.”
New dam to rescue
The official said that since rainfall in 2010 was much higher in comparison to 2011, last year, the lake levels were much higher. Also, with the completion of major portion of the Middle Vaitarna dam last week, water supply to the city will go up by 80 million litres per day (mld) by October. Thus increasing the water supply from current 3,350 mld to 3,430 mld. However, the city’s daily water requirement is about 4,350 mld. The civic body has already completed the job of laying pipelines from Middle Vaitarna to its Bhandup reservoir and water treatment plant. Water from the dam will be initially released into Modak Sagar and will eventually reach Bhandup for treatment.
Additional Municipal Commissioner (Water Supply) Rajiv Jalota said, “The work on the dam is on schedule, but the water would be supplied only after the monsoon.” Replying to the query whether this year water cuts would be implemented or not, BMC’s standing committee chairman Rahul Shewale said, “Although there is ample water in the lakes to take care of city’s water requirements till July, what about the leakages and pipe bursts. Every now and then there are various pipelines bursting in the city, due to which water cut is announced, and the citizens are inconvenienced. The pipes are old and rusted, due to which a lot water is wasted. We hope that this year the authority fixes them.”
City’s daily water requirement
Existing water supply
Did you know?
Though proposed by the Chitale Committee in 1993, the Middle Vaitarna dam was awaiting clearance from the Union Environment ministry. The work on the Rs 3,000-crore dam started in July 2007.