4 lakes overflowing but 24-hour water supply still a dream

Jul 24, 2013, 01:09 IST | Chetna Yerunkar

Vihar lake spills over, but BMC officials claim rising population of island city is making it difficult for them to provide Mumbaikars with round-the-clock water supply

Even though Vihar lake is overflowing – the fourth lake in the city to do so – BMC officials claim that the burgeoning population of the island city is making it impossible for them to provide all citizens with 24x7 water supply. They also attributed the water cuts to the partially operational Middle Vaitarna Lake, work on which has been in progress for several years now.

Brimming over: Thanks to the downpour, Vihar became the fourth lake to overflow. Pic/Nimesh Dave

While the seven lakes together have the capacity to provide 14 million litres of potable water – enough to take care of the city’s water needs for over a year – the civic body seems to be struggling to provide three crore Mumbaikars with round-the-clock water supply. Two years ago, the collective water storing capacity of the lakes was 12 million litres, which was enhanced with the addition of Middle Vaitarna.

Chief Hydraulic Engineer R Bambale said, “There are chances of no water cuts this year as the collection of water is enough to last for the next 285 days. And with heavy rainfall predicted, there are chances of sufficient water collection till the next monsoon.”

Vihar Lake overflows
Situated on the banks of Mithi River, Vihar lake started overflowing around 4 pm yesterday, after which BMC officials prohibited public movement near the lake. It supplies only three per cent of the island city’s water requirement, after filtration at Bhandup where the large water filtration plant is located. When built in 1860 (construction started in 1856), it was considered the largest lake in Mumbai. Vihar lake is flanked by the Tulsi lake and the Powai lake.

80.42 m
Current level

80.12 m
Maximum level

*Water level for Vihar on July 23

Did you know?
>> 10 lakh litres: The amount of water collected in the seven lakes
>> The BMC provides 3,500 million litres of potable water to the city daily 

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