Now, 35 per cent water cuts in city | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Now, 35 per cent water cuts in city

Even as the city is learning to cope with a 15 per cent water cut, the municipal corporation has said it will be forced to impose an additional 20 per cent cut from Monday evening.

mumbai Updated: Mar 16, 2010 02:15 IST
HT Correspondent

Even as the city is learning to cope with a 15 per cent water cut, the municipal corporation has said it will be forced to impose an additional 20 per cent cut from Monday evening.

The reason? A 100-year-old main pipeline from Tansa to the Master Balance Reservoir in Bhandup, cracked open near Bhiwandi on Monday. The cause of the rupture, municipal officers say, is the pipeline’s age.

“A lot of water has been wasted after the pipeline cracked open. We will have to compensate by intensifying the water cuts,” said an official from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) requesting anonymity.

So the city will have to brave 35 per cent water cuts until the pipeline, which is 72 inches in diameter, is repaired.

“We will take more than two days to fix the pipeline as the crack is big,” said the official. “We are trying to complete the work as soon as possible,” said Additional Municipal Commissioner, Anil Diggikar.

The water cut will be applied across the city because the pipe burst will lead to the dip in the reservoir level. The total water stock in all the six lakes is 4.04 lakh million litres. Last year, is was 5.97 lakh million litres around the same time.

Meanwhile, Walpada village, located close to where the pipe burst, was flooded.

“Our fields were flooded. The water level was knee-high,” said Shauji Shinde a local.

The quantity of water wasted cannot be quantified though an official said lakhs of litres are wasted in such cases.

Around 20 per cent of water is lost in the distribution network due to leaks and pilferage.

A Right To Information query has revealed that at least 1,031 pipes burst or leaked in 2009.

Most of the city’s hydraulic network was laid during the British Raj. The process of replacing old pipelines has begun, but civic officials agree that it is cumbersome and time consuming.

The city has also seen pipe bursts due to the negligence of planning bodies like the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority and Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation while executing their projects.

Data procured from the BMC’s hydraulic department shows that in the island city alone, old pipes of around 36 km have been replaced, while 25 km have been replaced in the western suburbs.