Water pipes in kitchens, bathrooms and even on the roadsides spent a maniacally busy day on Tuesday after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) announced a 24-hour water cut in the city from 10 am Wednesday to Thursday in lieu of pipeline repairs. Apart from collecting water in buckets and utensils of every size and shape, an anxious city ordered additional tankers to tide over the dry hours.
While emergency services in all hospitals will be functional, a few have either cancelled or curtailed routine surgeries. Government hospitals like KEM in Parel have cancelled all their routine surgeries scheduled for Wednesday. “We have arranged for water tankers and pumps so that emergency services are not affected,” said Dean of KEM Neelima Kshirsagar. The Outdoor Patient Department (OPD) and other wards will function as normal. However, water in non-essential sectors like hostels of resident doctors would be curtailed, she added.
Even private hospitals like Jaslok will conduct their scheduled surgeries only in the morning session (till 2 pm). The hospital has a reservoir and has arranged for extra water if necessary from local water tankers.
“Apart from that we have instructed all our users, patients and relatives to use water judiciously,” said Dr J.P. Sharma, Medical Superintendent of Jaslok Hospital.
Long-distance trains coming into Mumbai on Central Railway will have to fill up their tanks before they arrive in the city. Western Railway, however, has arranged for tankers to ensure that the flush does not go dry in trains like Rajdhani.
Housing societies took special pains to fill their tanks, storing water in the vessels and booking tankers. Mahdi Masoorilal, a committee member of Hill Post housing society on Sherly Rajan Road, Bandra, said: “We are filling the water tanks so we have enough water to drink. We also have well water and have asked tankers to deliver when needed.”
Suzan D’Souza, a resident, said: “I have bought 2-litre Bisleri bottles, so that I don’t have to use water from the well or tankers.”
Even Sukhda Apartments at Worli Sea Face, where prominent political personalities like Gopinath Munde, Vilasrao Deshmukh’s son Amit and Pramod Mahajan’s family live, has ordered 20-30 tankers to tide over the crisis.
“At least for two days, no alternate measure has been arranged for the city and on the third day the water cut will be 25 per cent. In case after a few days there is less supply of water, it will be arranged from other places,” said an official from the water department.