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No water for BMC gardens this summer

mumbai Updated: Dec 11, 2009 01:31 IST
HT Correspondent

With the water crisis in the city worsening, the civic body has decided to discontinue water supply to all municipal gardens from March. BMC has already imposed stringent water cuts in the city.

A circular issued by the civic body said: “In order to save potable water for the summer season, we will have to discontinue the water supply to the gardens in the city,”

The circular, issued by the hydraulic department, also advises digging borewells and ringwells in these gardens, as alternate water sources.

“To tide over the water crisis, we will dig borewells in all civic gardens, which will help meet the water requirements in summer,” said Deputy Municipal Commissioner, Chandrashekhar Rokde.

Sources from the garden department said that discontinuing water supply to the 900-odd gardens in the city will help save about 10 million litres daily (MLD).

A budgetary allocation of Rs 5 crore was made to municipal wards this year for improvement and beautification

of the gardens in their jurisdiction.

Earlier this year, the civic body had decided to make gray water (used water) treatment plants in new buildings compulsory.

“The situation in areas such as Malabar Hill, Cuffe Parade, Versova is very critical due to water being supplied at low pressure,” added a senior officer requesting anonymity.

Water is supplied to the city from six lakes.

Total water stocks in these lakes are only at 8.11 lakh million litres in comparison with 10.49 lakh million litres last year.

Water levels in the Master Balance Reservoirs (MBR) at Bhandup and Yewai have also been dipping gradually resulting in water being supplied at low pressure.

New by-laws to save water

Mumbai: An unprecedented water shortage in the city has compelled the civic body to draft new by-laws aimed at reducing consumption of drinking water for non-potable purpose.

As per the new by-laws, a fine of Rs 5,000 will be imposed on industries and residential buildings that consume more than 60,000 litres per day, if they don’t set up a sewage treatment plant. The civic body will also impose a fine of Rs 100 per day until the plant is operational.

In order to ensure that this rule is successfully implemented, a 25 per cent tax reduction on sewage and water tax will be given to those units, which comply with this rule.

“They will also have to allot 30 per cent of the total area for setting up these plants,” said a civic official, requesting anonymity.

The by-laws will be proposed before the standing committee by the month end. They will then be tabled at the general body meeting and after approval will become the law.

According to civic estimates, more than 75 percent of water is used for non-potable purpose. Due to a poor monsoon, a 15 per cent water cut has been imposed, with only 2950 MLD of water being drawn against the average requirement of 3400 MLD.