The amount of water Mumbai loses while it is being supplied to you is enough to satisfy the daily requirement of cities like Chennai, Pune, Kanpur or Ahmedabad.
About 20 per cent of Mumbai’s supply is lost to leaks and theft — about 700 million litres a day (MLD) from the daily
supply of 3400 MLD.
In a survey of 10,374 Mumbaiites conducted by Hindustan Times and Ipsos Indica Research, Mumbai’s water crisis was identified as a major concern. The respondents were then divided into several smaller groups based on their top two concerns. Typically, every respondent was part of two smaller groups, each of which corresponded to one concern. Each group was then asked detailed questions abut their respective concerns.
In the case of water, the sample amounted to 5,689 people.
A deficient monsoon last year has put a severe burden on Mumbai’s water resources, with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) imposing a 15 per cent cut on residences.
While the BMC has been trying to plug loopholes, there are several shortcomings. “We can’t do anything alone; citizens must take the initiative. We have formed a squad to keep a check on leaks on a priority basis,” said a senior civic official, requesting anonymity.
Municipal Commissioner Swadheen Kshatriya had said last month that complaints of leaks should be addressed within 48 hours or the officials concerned would face suspension. A task force was formed in every ward to repair and check leaks. The task force would include junior officers of the Water Department.
The squad of engineers and junior staff would inspect each pipeline in the ward.
The 700-odd engineers in the department have, in the past four months, plugged more than 25,000 leaks.
Water theft is a critical issue too. Kshatriya said that if a person was found to have repeatedly stolen water, the official concerned should lodge a police complaint.