With Mumbai already reeling under a 20% water cut because of poor rainfall this year, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has decentralised the system of water distribution to conserve water.
The civic body has entrusted powers to deputy chief engineer, executive engineer and assistant engineers of hydraulic department at the local wards to manage water cuts so that water complaints can be tackled efficiently.
Additional municipal commissioner Sanjay Mukherjee said: “We need to manage water better and so we have asked the local officials to focus on the total amount of water saved rather than the cut.”
While the decision on implementing additional water cut has been put on hold till the end of Ganeshotsav, the civic body has started a rigorous drive to check illegal water connections and leakages in the city.
It has cracked down on 431 illegal water connections. Of those, 428 have been discontinued and the BMC has sought police protection to cut three connections, said civic officials. A total of 3,775 leakages have been identified, out of which, 3,704 have been resolved. The rest 71 cases were reported to the civic body on Monday.
“We will also issue notices to the 1.5 lakh water connection holders who do not have functional water meters. We will make sure that the water meters are either replaced or repaired to keep a tab on the quantity of water used,” said Mukherjee.
Tree major catchments — Modak Sagar, Tansa and Middle Vaitarna — have not received enough rainfall for the rise in the lake levels, said civic officials.
The BMC has a stock of 9.9 lakh million litres of water that will last for only 236 days.
A civic official, requesting anonymity, said, “Additional water cut will be implemented only after the festival as we do not want the city to face water crisis during this time. Another 15 days of monsoon is left, but according to the weather department there is nothing in our favour and so conserving water is the only solution.”