The state on Monday said the city’s current water stock can last till June. Currently, the BMC has imposed a 15% water cut in the city, which will continue till the start of monsoon.
Replying to a discussion on a calling-attention motion in the legislative council, minister of state for urban development Ranjit Patil said the total water stock in the seven reservoirs in and around Mumbai was 14,47,000 million litres. Of this, 5,34,753 million litres is usable, while the civic body will have to get the government’s nod for further use.
Legislators Vijay Girkar, Rahul Narvekar, Vidya Chavan, Kiran Pawaskar raised the issue, demanding answers from the government over wastage of drinking water owing to leakages in supply lines and theft by water mafia. Patil admitted that around 25% of the total water to be supplied to Mumbai was lost to evaporation, theft and leakages.
“We are aware of the water leakages. We are going to boost vigilance and appoint a consultant to improve the water supply system. In addition, we are going to use advanced technology to detect and stop water leakages,” said Patil, adding the state will look into the water mafia issue.
He said a joint committee between the urban development department and health department will regularise the supply of potable water through tankers.
Patil said about one lakh water connections in the island city do not have meters.
NCP’s Vidya Chavan alleged that the water mafia in the slums was charging Rs5 for a pot. “When common man seeks water connection, he is asked for various permissions by civic officials. However, mafias are given permissions overnight.”