The civic body’s long-delayed six-km-long underground water tunnel from Verawali reservoir to Yari Road was finally commissioned two days ago, but developed technical glitches soon after, following which its usage has been discontinued, albeit temporarily.
The ambitious project was launched by the ruling Shiv Sena-BJP led alliance 2006 and keeping an eye on the upcoming civic elections, it goes without saying that the mood to reap political harvest over this project remains upbeat. The glitch has been overlooked and so has been its temporary closure, so much and so that the inauguration will happen as scheduled.
A function to this effect will be held on Friday and Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray, who is on a spree to inaugurate civic projects ahead of the civic elections, is expected to do the honours.
The civic body had launched the project of replacing pipelines with tunnel to avoid water theft, encroachment and also to minimise maintenance costs. Built at a cost of Rs180 crore, the tunnel, however, needs to be repaired and till it is done, water will be supplied through the old network of pipelines.
Due to inadequate amount of water into the tunnel during the first trial run on Tuesday, there was shortage of water in many parts of Andheri and Jogeshwari.
Officials said that the second trial run will be carried out from October 8 and they will make sure that it is successful this time. The supply timings and pattern for the areas benefiting through this tunnel, will have to change again and zone-wise supply pattern will have to be carried out now.
An official from the hydraulic engineering department of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said that when water from the Verawali reservoir was released into the tunnel, which is 200m below the ground level, it was realised that the quantity was inadequate. “The amount of water from the Verawali reservoir did not fill up the tunnel, because of which the water pressure was very weak which affected water supply in these areas for two days,” said the official.
Chief hydraulic engineer Ramesh Bambale said that they are now focusing on dividing the area into zones and will release water to only one zone at a time so that the water pressure in the tunnel is maintained to sustain water supply.
“We will take a re-run of the system on October 8. We have formed a team to keep a check 25 points in the area to see to that water supply is uninterrupted,” said Bambale.