Twenty four hours water supply: a dream for majority of Mumbaiites, may become a reality from 2012 if the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is to be believed.
“We would supply water 24 hours round the clock within five years,” announced Additional Municipal Commissioner Manukumar Srivastava, while addressing a press conference on Thursday. “It is possible and the process has already started.”
Currently the city receives 3,350 million litres of water per day (mld), which is inadequate, as the demand is 4,000 mld.
To provide water supply 24x7, the BMC has focussed on three main areas. One is to improve the distribution network, which involves repairs and rehabilitation of old pipelines and water mains. Another area is to plug leakages and reduce wastage of water. And the third is to complete the Middle Vaitarna project, which would supply an additional 455 mld.
According to the BMC, by 2012, water supply to the city is expected to jump from 4,000 to 4,450 mld. “The need of the hour would be to discipline the use of water,” said Srivastava.
However, citizens and public representatives are not convinced. “We barely get water for an hour daily,” complained Parel resident Rakesh Mane, who wakes up at 4 am every day to fill water.
Calling it a “pipe dream” Trombay legislator Yusuf Abharani said: “This is merely a slogan. We would be thankful if the BMC supplies water regularly for just three hours.”
The various measures that the BMC would undertake to realise its 24x7 water supply project includes changing 614 km of pipelines (2006-08) at the cost of about Rs 356 crore, phasing out old water mains and construct three tunnels for about Rs 574 crore.
Moreover, a water audit would be commissioned in May to reduce the wastage of 600 mld of water. In the next one year, more than 2.50 lakh meters would also be installed in buildings, and water meters made compulsory.