Mumbra's answer to water crisis: Artificial lake under waterfall

A seasonal waterfall forms on the hills during the monsoon. All of this water, though, goes to waste. Last week, forest officials surveyed a parcel of land for the proposed lake

Reeling under an unrelenting water crisis, Mumbra is arming itself for the future. The Thane district administration is looking into the residents’ proposal of constructing an artificial lake in the forest hugging the low hills of the suburb.

Waste not: Residents want water from the falls on Mumbra hills to be stored
Waste not: Residents want water from the falls on Mumbra hills to be stored

A seasonal waterfall forms on the Mumbra hills during the monsoon. Locals believe that an artificial lake below the hills will be able to hold thousands of litres of water, which will otherwise go to waste.

Site in sight: The plot of land that was reportedly chosen by forest officials
Site in sight: The plot of land that was reportedly chosen by forest officials

The letter, sent to the Thane collector by a few local activists and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) workers, has already put the plan in action. Forest officials surveyed land near the Mumbra hills last Wednesday and identified a clearing for the proposed lake. They prepared a report on the survey and sent it to the Thane collector’s office, said one of the forest officials who visited the site. “It is a good initiative to save water.”

Ashwini Joshi, Thane collector, said the district administration had forwarded the letter it had received from residents to the forest department. “The department has conducted its survey and has sent us a report on it. We are looking into the report.”

Shamim Khan, NCP president, Kalwa-Mumbra, said the population of Thane district has risen to 12 lakh from 4.73 lakh in 2011, but there hasn’t been an equivalent increase in the supply of water. “When there is a source of water available, why isn’t it being used? An artificial lake can help us prepare for future crises.”

In Thane, Mumbra, Kausa and Diva are bearing the brunt of water shortage — a 60% water cut is already in place across the district and several areas get water only once a week.

Ashraf Pathan, an NCP corporator from Mumbra, said residents and party workers have staged several protests demanding more water over the past month. “But nothing has come of them. People are forced to call expensive, private water tankers.”

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