Mumbai rains: BMC imposes 20 pc water cut on waterlogged city

Jul 03, 2014, 06:31 IST | Sujit Mahamulkar

Rains lashed the city but almost bypassed five lakes in Thane, forcing the BMC to enforce water cuts from last midnight

The city may have been waterlogged yesterday, but the catchment areas remained largely dry, forcing the BMC to impose the dreaded 20% water cut from midnight.

Also read: Metro gets its first taste of the Mumbai rains

Yesterday’s plentiful rain was clearly not enough to make the civic body change its decision to impose a 20 per cent water cut from midnight. Pic/Atul KambleYesterday’s plentiful rain was clearly not enough to make the civic body change its decision to impose a 20 per cent water cut from midnight. Pic/Atul Kamble

mid-day had reported on July 1 (‘Third lake goes under, Mumbai staring at 20% water cut’) that the BMC was mulling enforcing the water cut soon to avoid increasing its quantum later, and yesterday’s plentiful rain was clearly not enough to make the civic body change its mind.

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Municipal Commissioner Sitaram Kunte tabled a written statement before the civic Standing Committee yesterday and all members approved the cut unanimously. The cut, applicable across Mumbai, was slated to come into effect from midnight. 

Also read: So, BMC, is this how you were 'prepared' for the Mumbai rains?

As of yesterday, the seven lakes which supply water to the city held 1.11 lakh million litres of stock. The BMC supplies 3,750 million litres of water a day and the 20% cut will see the supply time being reduced. For instance, areas which get water for three hours a day will now get it for half an hour less, said an officer from the water department.

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The civic administration is also expecting problems in places in hilly areas like Bhandup’s Tembipada, Ghatkopar hills and those that are at the fag end of the water supply line. “We are making a list of such areas, which will be badly hit by the water cut, and will take measures to ensure residents get enough water,” said Ramesh Bambale, a hydraulic engineer with the BMC.

Photos: Heavy rains lash Mumbai, water-logging in many parts

Worst hit
The BMC has also decided to discontinue its ambitious project of supplying water 24X7 to areas like the eastern parts of Kurla, Ghatkopar, Vidyavihar, Vikhroli, Kanjurmarg and Mulund. On January 2, 2012 the BMC had started supplying water around the clock on an experimental basis in Mulund East. Satisfied with the results, it had decided to extend this to other areas in the east of the central suburbs, excluding the hilly portions.

Currently, the BMC supplies water 24X7 in the eastern parts of Mulund, Bhandup, Kurla, Vikhroli and Ghatkopar, covering areas like Pestem Sagar, Tilak Nagar, Kasaiwada, Chunabhatti, Shivshruti, Nehru Nagar and the Kamgar Nagar locality. The BMC had covered about 13 lakh people in the city this way. These residents will now be the worst hit as the 24-hour supply will be withdrawn and they will get water for 2-3 hours a day.

10-day review
The civic administration will review the water stock available in the lakes every 10 days to decide whether the water cut should be continued or withdrawn. If the water cut is withdrawn, 24-hour supply will resume for the Mulund-Kurla (east) areas, said a BMC official.

No rain for lakes
Although there was good rainfall in the city, five lakes located in the adjoining Thane district were almost dry. While Vihar and Tulsi, located within city limits, recorded 120 mm and 165 mm of rainfall, respectively, till 5 pm, Modak Sagar, Middle Vaitarna and Tansa saw barely 15 mm of rainfall.

Lake level

Slow progress

Rain lake level

(Source BMC)                                               

>> Figures are as on 6 am on Wednesday and, thus, do not reflect yesterday’s rainfall
>> The 0 for Middle Vaitarna means there is no water stock or useful content in the lake

1.11: The water stock (in lakh million litres) available in the lakes as of yesterday. On July 2 last year 4.16 lakh million litres was available

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