BMC mulls 5% increase in water cuts to 15% across Mumbai from May
The final decision on increasing the quantum of water cuts may be taken at the end of AprilUpdated: Apr 21, 2019, 04:11 IST
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) may be forced to announce an additional five% water cut in May, after it reviews the stock available in the seven lakes that supply water to Mumbai. The civic body has already imposed a 10% water cut in the city since last November.
The final decision on increasing the quantum of water cuts may be taken at the end of this month.
“Although the water we have [in catchment areas] may suffice till June, we may have to impose additional cuts to stock water till July in case it does not rain properly in June,” said a senior official from the hydraulic department on condition of anonymity.
Last month, civic chief Ajoy Mehta had told corporators in the BMC’s general body meeting that the available water content in the lakes then would last till monsoon. “We have a shortfall... but the stock available will last till monsoon. We have no reason to worry,” Mehta had said.
The civic body, however, is “being cautious” and so reviewing the situation, said an official, who did not wish to be named, adding that the water cuts will be “temporary, only till the proper rains arrive”.
The current water stock in the seven lakes — Upper Vaitarna, Modak Sagar, Middle Vaitarna, Bhatsa, Tansa, Vehar, and Tulsi — is around 22%. It was 35% at the same time last year.
Deficient rainfall last year has led to water shortfall in the catchment areas this year.
“The on-ground reality is that citizens are facing water cuts up to 50% in some areas, especially the ones on a higher slope,” said Ravi Raja, leader of opposition in the BMC. “It is all due to bad planning by the BMC.”
Civic officials, however, said leakages and thefts result in certain areas facing more than 10% water cuts. As per rough estimates, the civic body, which supplies 3,800 litres of water daily to the city, loses around 900 million litres to theft.
“Water theft and leakages continue to remain a major problem for the hydraulic department,” said the official.