EVEN as parts of Maharashtra reel under severe water crisis, there is cause for worry for Mumbai also. The water stock available in the reservoirs that supply water to the city and suburbs is 1 lakh million litres lesser than the stock available at the same time last year. This stock will be sufficient till June 15, say officials. Thane and Navi Mumbai are also staring at a growing crisis with weekly water cuts already imposed in these areas.
According to civic officials, the water stock available in the seven lakes that supply water to Mumbai, as recorded on March 15, is 4,99,662 million litres. The water stock available in the lakes on the same day in 2015 was 5,99,296 million litres. There has been a 15 per cent water cut across the city since August 26, 2015, with daily supply of 3,275 million litres a day (mld) against the demand of 4,200 mld.
Officials said that there is no plan to increase the water cut, and with the stock likely to be sufficient till June 15, they are hopeful of an early and plentiful monsoon. “First of all, the water stock is less than that of last year’s. Also, we have considered water loss due to evaporation. So, in normal circumstances, the water supply will last till June 15,” said a senior official requesting anonymity.
Since September last year, the civic body stopped water supply to its swimming pools. Also, a 50 per cent water cut has been imposed on big industries, and commercial establishments that have a water connection of 100 mm diameter and above, said the official. He said the BMC is creating awareness about using non-potable water for secondary purposes.
Aaditya Mhapralkar, a swimmer from Shivaji Park, Dadar, said that shutting the water supply to the civic swimming pools affected his training schedule for the competitive season adversely. “The water supply was closed in September last year. Hoping it will be restored soon, I did not train for two months. After learning that the water supply will not restored, I along with 40 other students joined another pool at Elphinstone Road. But it takes a long time to reach there and then we are not able to practise like we used to at Mahatama Gandhi swimming pool in Dadar,” said Aaditya, a Class VII student who has participated in state-level swimming competitions.
In Thane, there has been a 30 per cent water cut for the last two weeks and the current water stock in the reservoirs will last till June 15, officials hope. The Thane civic body maintains that normal water supply to the city should be 480 million litres per day, and is currently 320 million litres per day. “There is 30 per cent cut on water supply from Bhatsa. But since we have our water pipeline for Bhatsa, we have divided the water cut as 15 per cent daily. One day of the week, there will be no supply from the dam,” said Additional Municipal Commissioner (Thane) Sunil Chavan.
In Navi Mumbai, there has been a 30 per cent water cut since October, 2015. Officials said that the water supply will be sufficient till June. “There is 42 million cubic meter water stock in the reservoirs that supply water here. The water cut was increased to 30 per cent recently,” said Arvind Shinde, executive engineer, NMMC.