A comprehensive roadmap for equitable distribution of drinking water in the island city of Mumbai and its eastern and westerns suburbs would be ready in two months, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced on Tuesday.
Acknowledging the need to take corrective measures to facilitate equitable water distribution, the chief minister said, “The government’s emphasis on smart cities project is exactly to address basic amenities complete with 24×7 water supply system across Mumbai.”
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According to Fadnavis, “What really needs to be relooked is strengthening of water distribution system and plugging of the 27 percent leakage going unaddressed for decades.”
While maintaining that the island city has a water supply of 161 litres per person per day compared to 135 litres per person per day in the eastern suburbs and 137 litres per person per day in western suburbs, he said, “There cannot be ambiguity on sustained water supply across the island city and the suburbs, which averages upto 181 litres per person per day at least in the island city when water cut is not enforced.”
He emphasised on upgrading infrastructure to avoid loss of water during distribution. Citing an example, he said, “In the island city, pipes have been in existence for several decades which may require replacement or upgradation to minimise losses.”
While referring to a study in Nagpur a few years ago to tackle the water problem, he said, “It came to our notice that there was no shortage of water. Water supply per person per day in Nagpur was more compared to Singapore. However, what was missing was sustained distribution network. As a result, there was surplus in some wards and shortage in others.”
Earlier, BJP MLA Yogesh Sagar, through a calling attention motion in the state assembly, pointed to discrimination in water supply which did not commensurate with population. “The island city of Mumbai with population of 31 lakh got 960 to 975 mld water. Whereas, eastern suburbs with 30 lakh was given 920 to 930 mld and western suburbs (Goregaon to Dahisar) with 30 lakh population got only 620 mld water,” he said.
He raised alarm over 27 per cent water loss, which if saved would go a long way in mitigating water scarcity.