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Water cuts to continue for the entire year?

mumbai Updated: Jul 16, 2010 01:41 IST
Sujit Mahamulkar
Sujit Mahamulkar
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Despite the rains, the water crisis seems far from over.

In fact, you could continue to face water cuts for the entire year because the six lakes that supply drinking water to the city have just filled up by 20-25 per cent.

But after presiding a review meeting with the water department officials, Municipal Commissioner Swadheen Kshatriya, on Thursday, officially announced that the current water cut would remain until August 15.

“We don’t have even 20-25 per cent water stock, which is too little. However, we have to take a decision about continuing the cut for a month,” said Kshatriya.

He added that he would call for a review meeting again on August 16 for further decision.

Residential users have been reeling under a 15 per cent water cut, while commercial users facing a 30 per cent cut since July 24, 2009, due to delayed monsoon and scanty rainfall last year.

The city needs at least 13.5 lakh million litres of water stock in the six lakes to last an entire year. But until Thursday, the total water stock available in the lakes was just 2.42 lakh million litres.

The municipal corporation requires 8 lakh million litres of water stock to revoke the cuts.

Civic officials are sceptical that there would be enough stock till the monsoon ends. Even if it rains heavily in July, a lot of time has been lost and the lake levels would not go beyond 8 lakh million litres.

“Even if it rains regularly for the entire season, with just 75 days left till September-end, the water stock would not reach up to the 8 lakh million litres figure,” said a civic official from water department, requesting anonymity because he is not authorised to talk to media.

The official added that since June 7, the total water stock in the six lakes has increased to 2.42 lakh million litres from 91,000 — a rise of just 1.5 lakh million litres in 38 days.

The municipal corporation is also not keen on cloud seeding experiments. “According to the water department study, last year’s experiment was not successful and this year the monsoon started in time. We are still optimistic about the rainfall in the catchment areas,” said Kshatriya.