Mumbai: BMC begins sealing city's leaky pipelines

Updated: Aug 19, 2019, 08:27 IST | Arita Sarkar

Complaints of leakages dropped by 30 per cent in the last six months, officials say

Mumbai: BMC begins sealing city's leaky pipelines
BMC officials have taken up pipeline repair work on priority basis to avoid water wastage. Pic/Sameer Markande

Inadequate rainfall is not the only reason why the city faces water cuts every year. A number of leaky pipelines are a major reason for water wastage. Officials of the Hydraulic Engineering department have started fixing pipeline leakages on a priority basis over the past few months, leading to a significant drop in the number of complaints of water leakages.

While the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) receives some complaints of leakages from citizens on its helpline number, others are noticed during routine inspections. In January this year, the HE department officials dealt with 4,044 such complaints, the number dropped to 3,235 in February. The number of complaints continued to reduce until June when the BMC received 2,810 complaints.

Additional Municipal Commissioner Pravin Darade said, "There are long-term and short-term measures to ensure that freshwater is saved for human consumption. As part of short-term measures, we are focussing on repairing leakages on a priority basis." Other long-term measures include setting up water harvesting units, reusing wastewater in flushes and making industries purchase and use treated water for their operations, he added.

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In June, the highest number of complaints were recorded in the eastern suburbs. While civic officials attended 1,026 complaints in the eastern suburbs, 965 were addressed in the western suburbs and 819 in the island city. Among the administrative wards, the highest number of complaints of leakages were received from L ward (Kurla) with 416 complaints. In the western suburbs, P North (Malad) had the highest number of complaints. Civic officials said that they are still collating the data for July.

Officials from HE department pointed out that while leakages can never be completely done away with, reducing their occurence can help save a considerable amount of water. According to civic records, about 27 per cent of the total water consumed by the city's residents (currently 3,750 million litres) is under the Non-Revenue Water (NRW) bracket — water that has been produced and is "lost" before it reaches the customer. "There are a number of reasons for leakages. Vehicles passing over the pipelines to ongoing road repair work, all these can damage the pipelines causing leakages. Our aim is to undertake repairs in a way that will prevent future leakages and also help bring down cases of contamination of water," said an official from the HE department.

Percentage of non-revenue water in city

Complaints of pipeline leakages

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