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Mumbai: BMC’s request for reserve water stock gathers dust in minister’s office

Updated on: 02 June,2023 07:38 AM IST  |  Mumbai
A Correspondent |

If irrigation dept does not approve request to access reservoirs, BMC might have to cut water supply to city by at least 10 per cent

Mumbai: BMC’s request for reserve water stock gathers dust in minister’s office

There was a loss of 650 million litres of water between November 8 and April 22 because of a punctured tunnel in Thane. Representation pic

The forecast of delayed arrival of the rain and the state government’s pending approval to access reserve water storage has the BMC worried, as the stock is drying up quickly. If the nod doesn’t come in by June 15, the civic body might consider water cuts of 10-12 per cent, sources said. As of June 1, the seven lakes have 1.81 lakh million litres of water, much lower than last year’s stock of 2.57 lakh million litres.

“The proposal was sent to the executive director of the Konkan division of the irrigation department on March 15. From there, it was forwarded to the irrigation directorate and then to the irrigation department in Mantralaya. Now, the proposal is on the table of the minister,” an official said.

BMC seeks 1.5 lakh million litres

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), on March 15, sent a proposal to the state government, seeking 1.5 lakh million litres of water from the irrigation department-owned Upper Vaitarna and Bhatsa dams/lakes. Of the seven lakes that cater to the city’s potable water needs, these two have the largest reservoirs.

“Getting approval for additional water stock is a long process. The proposal is pending with the irrigation minister’s office. We are hoping it is approved in a few days,” said a BMC official. The 12 per cent stock available stock for supply is in six lakes. “In Upper Vaitarna dam, the water stock approved for supply to Mumbai is over,” said an official on Thursday.

This is enough to last until July 15, civic officials said. Hence there could be a need for water cuts, but only if the approval for additional stock is delayed any further. “If we get the additional stock, that water stored for supply to the city will be sufficient until August 1,” the official added.

Meeting soon

Meanwhile, an important meeting of the BMC’s hydraulic department is scheduled next week, the official said, adding, “If the monsoon arrival is delayed, we will need to take a review and decide about the water cut.” “The proposal for additional water stock will be approved soon,” said Purushottam Malvade, chief engineer, hydraulic department.

The total capacity of the seven dams is around 14.47 lakh million litre. Last year, on June 1, these had 2.57 lakh million litre of water available for supply to the city. This year, however, the stock was too low because of the poor monsoon, said civic officials. There was a loss of 650 million litre of water between November 8 and around April 22 because of a punctured tunnel in Thane. 

The tunnel was damaged when a contractor was digging a borewell illegally. The BMC is yet to recover the fine of Rs 75 crore for the damage, wastage of water and the repair cost. The BMC had slashed the city’s water supply for 23 days for the repair work, during which it saved 13,000 million litre of water.Many water pipeline damages had been reported over the past few months.

15 Mar
Day BMC sent proposal to state govt

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