Fewer water cuts expected after four lakes spill over

Jul 18, 2013, 01:33 IST | Sujit Mahamulkar

The heavy rainfall this monsoon has led two of the seven lakes, Modak Sagar and Middle Vaitarna that supply water to the city to overflow on Wednesday morning. The water levels in these lakes have been rising for the past six days due to heavy rainfall in these catchment areas.

Crossing the line: Of the seven lakes that supply water to Mumbai, the water levels of Modak Sagar, Tulsi and Tansa lakes have crossed the overflow mark. File pic

Of the seven lakes in total, Tulsi and Tansa lakes have already been overflowing since July 12 and 14 respectively, while Modak Sagar and Middle Vaitarna have reached the level after which they will start overflowing.

Vihar is just about one and half metres and Upper Vaitarna is about 4 metres below the overflow mark.

The seven lakes Modak Sagar, Tansa, Vihar, Tulsi, Upper Vaitarna, Middle Vaitarna and Bhatsa supply 3,450 million litres of water daily (mld) against a demand of 4,200 million litres per day. The water supply situation in the city may improve this year as the average water stock in hand till now is 9.05 lakh million litres, which is much higher than the last three years.

Middle Vaitarna has touched the decided mark level even though Public Works Department is not allowing it to fill its capacity, which is the 285-metre level, because an old low-lying bridge is still being used.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has started releasing water from Middle Vaitarna dam so that the water level does not cross 259 metres. The city gets about 70 million litres of water everyday from Middle Vaitarna dam.

MiD DAY had reported earlier how the PWD is building a higher bridge so that more water can fill the Middle Vaitarna Lake in coming years. Work on the new bridge is ongoing after which the old bridge will get submerged thus increasing the lake’s capacity.

The city requires a total stock of over 12 lakh million litres of water in all seven lakes to supply water without any cuts through the year. This year there may be no cause to worry as the Meteorological department has predicted another 73 days of rainfall.

Talking about Middle Vaitarna Lake, hydraulic engineer Ramesh Bambale said, “After completion of the work to build the higher bridge across Vaitarna River, the Middle Vaitrana dam will be allowed to fill to its full level. We have started releasing water from Middle Vaitarna as we cannot fill it beyond the 259 metres mark as work on the new bridge has not yet been completed.”

Officials are hopeful that the water situation will improve this year as the major catchment areas in Thane district are receiving heavy rainfall.

Total water stock in hand
July 17, 2010: 1.94 lakh million litre
July 17, 2011: 4.23 lakh million litre
July 17, 2012: 2.16 lakh million litre
July 17, 2013: 9.05 lakh million litre

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