Mumbai's water woes to continue till next year

Mumbaikars who were hoping that they would no longer have to suffer from water cuts will have to wait longer, as the civic body’s plans of providing additional water from the Middle Vaitarna has hit a roadblock.

Mayor Sunil Prabhu
Water works: Mayor Sunil Prabhu surveys the Tansa Lake at Shahpur, Thane district. BMC officials carrying out a survey of the lakes said that there was enough stock to last till the next monsoon. Pic/Datta Kumbhar

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had planned to supply a minimum 200 million litres of additional water to the city from November 2012 with help from the dam being constructed on the Middle Vaitarna. However, yesterday during a survey of the work, officials said that the plan would be delayed. “It is not possible this time, but we are sure that next year, we will be in a position to supply additional water from the lake,” said Rahul Shewale, chairman of the civic standing committee.

On Wednesday, members of the civic standing committee had visited Tansa and Modak Sagar with the media to take review of the water stock available in the lakes. The stock is sufficient to suffice the city for a whole year without any water cut, till August 2013.

However, officials said that the additional water supply that was to be provided would be delayed owing to incomplete work. Ramesh Bambale, hydraulic engineer said, “We have to complete a 7-km tunnel near the dam. The work should have been completed but owing to a few a hiccups, the results have been deferred.

The work be completed by December 2012 and the city will start receiving an additional 455 million litre of water”. As of now, the city requires 4,200 million litre of water every day out of which it receives only 3,400 million litre causing a shortfall of 800 million litre.

The Middle Vaitarna supply project
The Middle Vaitarna Water Supply Project, the cost of which was originally pegged at Rs 1,600 crore, will now cost Rs 2,000 crore. Once completed, it will increase the volume of water supplied from the Vaitarna River to the city by a whopping 455 million litre every day.

Middle Vaitarna supply project

While a central grant covers 35 per cent of the total cost of the project, the state government will make an outlay of 15 per cent, with the BMC contributing the remaining 50 per cent. Earlier, slated to be completed by December 2011, the completion date was pushed further and the construction is now likely to be completed by April 2013.

10% water cut withdrawn
The BMC has decided to withdraw the 10 per cent water cut from next Saturday. “Due to heavy rainfall in all catchment areas, almost all 7 dams are overflowing, except one and we have enough stock to last till the next monsoon. So, we have decided to withdraw the cut from Saturday,” said Shewale, adding, “The final decision will be announced on Friday.” 

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