Special unit to help BMC plug leakages, save water | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Special unit to help BMC plug leakages, save water

Every single day, according to civic figures, about 700 million litres of water, more than the daily water supply to Pune, is lost daily, thanks to undetected leakages in water pipes and water theft. But the civic body hopes to change this.

mumbai Updated: Jul 23, 2011 01:40 IST
Kunal Purohit

Every single day, according to civic figures, about 700 million litres of water, more than the daily water supply to Pune, is lost daily, thanks to undetected leakages in water pipes and water theft. But the civic body hopes to change this.

In a bid to check massive loss of water due to leakages and thefts, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will soon set up a special Leak Detection Unit (LDU) in each of the city's 24 wards. This body would be responsible for detecting and plugging leakages.

Incidentally, such LDUs existed in the city until the early 2000s. First created in '70s, these units were known for their efficiency in detecting leakages and plugging them on time, saving millions of litres of water.

Civic officials, however, are still brainstorming about the dynamics of the operations. Said a senior official from the hydraulic engineer's department, "One option is that we create sub-zones in each ward, with about 500-1,000 connections in each zone and then let our LDUs focus on one zone at a time."

The LDU will first measure the inflow of water in that particular zone. "Since all connections will be measured, we will get to know how much water each house gets. The difference will be the water lost due to leakages and theft," a civic official said.

Additional municipal commissioner Rajiv Jalota said, "We have started earmarking staff for such units in every ward. Once we have sufficient staff in each unit, we will train them to ensure that they are able to tackle leakages." Jalota said that the whole process would take around two months, after which the units would be fully operational.

A senior civic official, who was in the hydraulic engineer's department when the LDUs functioned, lauded this move and said, "LDUs were meant for effective micro-level management of detecting and plugging water leakages. They were well adept at doing it." The official said that the units had to be disbanded due to official apathy.

Standing committee chairman Rahul Shewale said that the move would immensely benefit the BMC.

"Leakages are not being plugged effectively as the contractor's staff don't have experience. The revival of the LDUs will ensure that water loss is reduced."