The newly-commissioned Verawali-Yari Road water tunnel has added to water woes of those living in areas between Andheri (West) and Jogeshwari (West) primarily because the pipelines that were laid in these areas are yet to be connected with the tunnel.
A big-ticket project, the tunnel was commissioned on October 4 and inaugurated by Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray a few days later.
Keeping an eye on the upcoming civic elections, the Sena leader has been on an inauguration spree in the last few months and has been inaugurating projects, which are incomplete, partially complete or have been operational for a few months.
The trial run to gauge the efficacy of the tunnel had been on for a few days, and there were issues with the pressure of water in the tunnel, which hindered water supply, civic officials had said last week. But despite this glitch, the civic body didn't delay the inauguration.
Addressing the standing committee, chief hydraulic engineer Ramesh Bambale said that pipelines in a few areas need to be connected with the tunnel and they were trying to solve the technical problems that the tunnel encountered during the trial run. "It will take at least 15-20 days for the tunnel to be fully-operational. Till then, we will have zone-wise distribution of water from the tunnel, since that will ensure that water reaches these areas at a higher pressure and thus, more efficiently," said Bambale.
Areas at the fag end of the distribution network will be supplied water through the old pipeline network, he added.
Corporators, however, lambasted the civic body and said that the civic engineers should have had a plan in place before commissioning the tunnel.
"Water supply in these areas has been hit badly. With the festive season around the corner, the civic body must find a solution to the problem," said Shiv Sena corporator Rajul Patel.
Civic engineers said that the amount of water in the Verawali reservoir is not enough to fill up the tunnel and so the water pressure is low. Corporators said that water supply to some areas in Khar-Santacruz has also been affected.
"We were all told that the water supply problems in the ward will improve after the tunnel is commissioned, but it has worsened. The civic body should have planned in advanced," said Kavita Rodricks, Congress corporator.