With monsoons making a splash, BMC's plans for Mumbai take a backseat

With lake levels improving, plans for repairing borewells, cloud seeding and educating citizens on water conservation have gone out of the window

With the lake levels rising, the BMC has gone back to leaving the city at the monsoon’s mercy for its water needs. Plans of repairing borewells, cloud seeding and educating citizens about the need to conserve water have seemingly gone out of the window, but the 10 per cent water cut remains in place.

Last month, when the city was reeling from a water shortage and lake levels were dipping, the BMC had initiated steps to get water from other sources, as well as encourage water conservation.

With the rainfall picking up, the cloud seeding plan was the first casualty, and was quickly followed by the plan of cleaning and repairing 525 borewells and 89 ring wells at a cost of Rs 3 crore. The civic body claims that the Save Water campaign is on, but hardly anything is being done to increase awareness.

“In all seven lakes, the water stock is 11.45 lakh million litres, which is enough for more than 300 days. That’s why we have stopped cleaning and repairing of borewells. There is no logic in spending money on this,” said an officer from water department.

What this means is that should the monsoon be late next year or the rainfall received scanty, the city will once again face massive water cuts because of the BMC’s refusal to think in the longer term. Meanwhile, citizens will continue to face the 10 per cent water cut, because the civic body hasn’t discontinued it yet. BMC’s Chief Hydraulic Engineer Ramesh Bamble was unavailable for comment.

Cloud seeding
BMC was to spend Rs 15 crore on cloud seeding and had invited the tenders last month, but the plan was dropped after lake levels began showing improvement. With a cloud seeding experiment failing in 2009, the BMC had decided to rope in the Indian Institute of Tropical Management (IITM) and the IMD this year.

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