With the revised completion date for the ambitious middle Vaitarna dam, at least 1,500 housing societies in the city will have to go another year without regular water supply.
In 2009, during the height of the water crisis, the civic body had decided not to supply water to housing societies with a requirement of more than 2 lakh litres a day, to avoid inconvenience to regular consumers. This was to be corrected once the middle Vaitarna project was completed.
Now, the deadline for the completion of the project has been extended to April 2013 from April 2012. Till then these housing societies will have to make do with tanker water.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had amended norms in building proposal rules that stated that until new water projects were completed, buildings where the requirement for water was very high would have to wait. “These housing societies have to depend on private tankers. If they can afford luxury services such as tubs and swimming pools, they can bear the cost of tanker water,” said a civic official from the water department on the condition of anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
Ramesh Bambale, hydraulic engineer (BMC), said, “The decision has not been changed so far. So they have to wait for an authorised water connection till the middle Vaitarna dam is completed.”
The rapid growth in the suburbs and mushrooming of huge housing complexes has hiked the demand for water. The city is already facing a water shortage of almost 850 million litres daily (MLD). The civic body supplies 3,350 mld against the demand of 4,200 mld. The BMC has also decided to axe the supply of water to new constructions by half — from the 90 litres a person per day to 45 litres a person per day, two years ago. The decision applies to new constructions even if they have a requirement of less than 2 lakh litres a day.
According to the new deadline of April 2013, when the BMC’s ambitious Middle Vaitarna Project is scheduled to be completed, the civic body will begin receiving an additional 455 million litres a day, following which new constructions with a demand for more than 2 lakh litres of water a day can get authorised water connections.
Till then, they will have to manage with bore-wells, rainwater harvesting systems and sewage treatment plants, or pay for water tankers for non-potable purposes.
The 90-litres per capita per day rule is a national norm for water supply, and existing buildings that already have water connections will continue to get this supply.