The lack of rain in Mumbai has led to the BMC planning for the worst — water cuts in the city.
With limited water in the city’s lakes, which may last barely three months, the civic body will take a call on applying water cuts in the first week of August.
“We have water that may last for another 84 days, but as of now there is no plan for water cuts. If there is no rain in the coming days, we will review the situation in the first week of August,” said additional municipal commissioner Dr Sanjay Mukherjee, who is in-charge of the civic water department on Wednesday.
After heavy rain in June, the state has been witnessing a dry spell. The catchment areas of seven lakes supplying water to the city for more than three weeks have been receiving minimal to almost no rainfall.
The situation is not alarming yet, but the catchment areas need rain within a fortnight. “There are no alarms being sounded because we still have two months of monsoon remaining and there are predictions the rainfall will begin after a dry patch. Also, the stock in the lakes is better compared to last year,” said a civic official.
Middle Vaitarna, which had zero stock last year, is contributing the most to the city’s water supply.
Another civic official said, “We have worked on the improvement of water distribution and the water stock from Middle Vaitarna is helping us supply 3,750 million litres of water a day.”
Meanwhile, corporators from all political parties protested over the short supply of water in several areas in the city. They alleged the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has imposed a 10% water cut without informing citizens. However, the civic body dismissed the allegations saying the water cuts are because of technical issues with the pumping stations and reservoirs.
Congress corporator and standing committee member Asif Zakaria said, “The BMC has imposed a 10% unofficial water cut in Bandra because of which we get water with less pressure. When I asked about the problem, the water department informed me about some issue with the reservoir.”
Denying any water cut imposed in the city, Mukherjee said, “As such there is no water cut imposed in the city. The low pressure of the water supply is because of a power failure in Pise Panjarpur pumping station and leakage in the Veravali reservoir.”
Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party corporator Rais Shaikh’s demand of supplying extra water in Muslim- dominated areas during the last three days of Ramzan has sparked controversy. Opposing this move, BJP group leader Manoj Kotak said, “If we start giving extra water during Ramzan, we will have to do it during Ganeshotsav and Govinda as well.” Following the BJP, the Shiv Sena has also opposed the extra water supply to certain areas. “We should supply equal amount of water to every citizen and not give additional water to a particular community. This will set the wrong trend,” said Sena corporator Trishna Vishwasrao.