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Mumbai passes water-cut test

For Reba Mukherji, Wednesday passed off pretty peacefully. With two guests from Kolkata at home, reports our HT Correspondent.

india Updated: Dec 28, 2006 02:57 IST

For Reba Mukherji, Wednesday passed off pretty peacefully. With two guests from Kolkata at home, the Churchgate resident had gone into an overdrive, filling all utensils in her house to ensure that her family did not face problems because of the water cut.

"My children had to bathe early as we wanted to save water. Thankfully, there was some water supply in our building at intervals. So we haven’t faced much problem,” said a relieved Mukherjee on Wednesday evening.

"There is enough stored water to see us through the night," she added.

Mukherji’s day mirrors how Mumbai coped with the unprecedented 100 per cent water cut in the city. Despite fears of a water scarcity, Mumbaikars managed to cope pretty well.

The city’s water supply will return to normal from Thursday morning, Municipal Commissioner Johny Joseph announced on Wednesday.

The pipeline repair announcement had sent Mumbaikars into panic with people working overtime to store water. Many housing societies worked out a water management strategy to intermittently supply water to flats the day before and thus save water.

“Saving water for an entire day is a problem. But the prior notice worked. We had worked out timings to supply water in the buildings,” said Roshni Khan, the Chairman of Nectar Building Housing Society, Bandra.

Mahdi Masoorilal, committee member of Hill Post at Bandra’s Sherly Rajan Road, said: “We had stored enough water. We also have a borewell and that helped.”

Private water tankers found it difficult to cope with the increased supply. Prakash Malpani, owner of Malpani Filter Water, which supplies water from Dadar to Goregaon, said: "We are only supplying to our regular customers, we cannot serve new customers because of the crunch.”

He added: “On an average, we supply 3 lakh litres but today we just supplied 2.50 lakh litres."

However, the tanker owners did hike the price by 25 per cent.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation had deployed 81 emergency tankers throughout the city’s 24 wards to help people cope with the shortage.

In hospitals, the water cut led to some adjustments in schedule. While routine surgeries were not undertaken in some government hospitals, most private hospitals worked as per their schedule.

“Hostels of resident doctors were asked to curtail their water consumption,” said Dr Neelima Kshirsagar, Dean of KEM Hospital. She said the hospital had more than 15 lakh litres of water in store. Hence, emergency services were not affected.

Services were unaffected in JJ Hospital too. But there were fewer patients on Wednesday compared to other days.

Sion Hospital also functioned normally. All routine surgeries were cancelled and only emergency cases tackled. “Routine surgeries will be rescheduled in the next 10 days,” said Dr ME Yeolekar, Dean of Sion Hospital.

Private hospitals like Bombay Hospital had arranged for water tankers. “We carried out both routine as well as emergency surgeries like any other day,” said Dr Ashish Tiwari, the hospital’s public relations officer.

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