Although Mumbai’s current water stock is at its highest in four years, the civic body will still not be able to supply the extra water that is needed to reduce the city’s water deficit from the Middle Vaitarna project this year.
Two components of the project — a tunnel and a water treatment plant — which are being constructed by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), are running behind schedule.
Rajiv Jalota, additional municipal commissioner, said, “The deadlines for the completion of these components have been extended and have been communicated to the government of India. But we will ensure that water supply continues through the existing network.”
Officials said that the entire project is expected to be completed by March 2013. HT had reported last month that there was also an undue delay in the reconstruction of a road-bridge near the dam that had been taken up by the state public works department. This was hindering supply from the dam as it posed the danger of submerging the road and nearby villages.
The civic body will therefore have to rely on the existing Vaitarna supply system to supply water from the dam which, officials said, lacks the capacity to carry the additional quantity of water needed in the city.
“A strategy to bring water from the Middle Vaitarna dam will be chalked out only after October 1, when the available water stock at the end of monsoon is reviewed,” said Rajendra Borse, chief engineer, department of water supply projects.
Civic officials also maintained that although the water stock is ample, the additional supply of water from Middle Vaitarna (needed to add to the normative supply) is hindered by the incomplete projects.
“Upper Vaitarna Lake needs to reach the full supply level. Therefore, the water that is currently being supplied from Middle Vaitarna will only help fill the deficit that allows us to continue the regular daily supply,” said a senior civic official.
The Middle Vaitarna project, when completed, is expected to supply 455 million litres of additional water to the city every day.