Railways shares water with Thane, Navi Mumbai

While the two civic bodies have been allowed access to Dighe Dam, the quality is not good enough for drinking or cooking

For some time now, the water crisis has been a major issue across Maharashtra, which has been reflected in the recent water cuts across the city.

Also read: Mumbai's lifeline Western, Central Railways respond to water crisis

Member of Parliament Rajan Vichare recently visited the railway dam at Rabale
Member of Parliament Rajan Vichare recently visited the railway dam at Rabale

Thane and Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporations are worst affected as the water cuts have risen by almost 40 to 60 per cent.

Both the corporations have been reaching out to Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu to help by providing water from the railway dam at Rabale on the Thane-Belapur road.

Prabhu has now offered to agree to solve the water shortage. “For now, we have permitted both NMMC and TMC to draw water from Dighe Dam for the next three months,” said SK Sood, General Manager, Central Railway. Sources said that on Monday, officials from CR and TMC will also visit the dam.

Speaking to mid-day, D Waghmare, Municipal Comm-issioner of Navi-Mumbai Municipal Corporation, said he was happy that the railway authorities have allowed them to use water from the railway dam on a daily basis. “At present, the railway dam has around 4 MLD water in it. However, on a daily basis, we require 290 MLD water for Navi-Mumbai. In such a situation, the water is still less. However, this water can’t be used for drinking or cooking purposes,” added Waghmare.

The water from the dam will be useful for slumdwellers residing in the neighbouring areas.

“We will see that the water from the dam is supplied and utilised by the slum pockets that are close to the dam. We will also see if we can supply water to different slum pockets for using it for washing utensils and clothes,” said Waghmare.

Compared to TMC, it is much easier for NMMC to use the water and distribute it via tankers as the dam is close to Navi Mumbai.

A senior TMC official said, “The railways has allowed us to use the water by taking it in the tanker and supplying it to different areas. It works for Navi Mumbai as it is nearby. But Thane is too far and the travelling expenses will cost more than the water that is made available. We will see how we can use it.”

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