BMC seeks state nod to draw on its reserves to meet water needs
The current water stock stands at 16.79% of the total capacity of 14.47 million litres, far less than last year’s 29.56% and 29.93% at the same time in 2017.Updated: May 04, 2019, 00:17 IST
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has sought the state’s permission to use 1.70 million litres of reserve water stock from two of its dams, Bhatsa and Upper Vaitarna, to meet the city’s water needs till July.
The current water stock stands at 16.79% of the total capacity of 14.47 million litres, far less than last year’s 29.56% and 29.93% at the same time in 2017.
Of the seven lakes/dams that supply water to the city, Bhatsa and Upper Vaitarna dams are state-controlled and have a larger reserve stock compared to the others. The civic body needs the state government’s permission to draw from each dam’s reserve stock.
Normally, the water stock in the city’s water-supply reservoirs lasts till around June-July, when the catchment areas of these reservoirs start getting rainfall. This time there are reports that the monsoon could get delayed. Further, the rainfall in 2018 was inadequate.
The last time BMC had to draw into its reserve stock was in 2016 owing to a poor monsoon in 2015. Similarly, the poor monsoon in 2018 has led to this water shortage. A senior civic official said, “We have got a positive response from the state government on using the reserve stock. We are waiting for an official communication. The current water stock with BMC is enough to be used till June, however, we want to be sure of sufficient water till July.”
Meanwhile on Friday, members of the standing committee slammed the civic administration over the absence of any action plan for ensuring adequate water supply to the city. Giving no clarity on further water cuts in the city, the civic administration told the standing committee that permission to use additional water stock to meet the city’s needs till July this year is being taken from the state government. Ashok Tawadiya, chief engineer of the hydraulics department, said, “We are following up with the state to get the reserve stock. We had already written to them and are now awaiting an official reply.”
Abhijeet Samant, BJP corporator, said, “It seems the administration has no action plan in place to tackle the water shortage in the city. While the current water stock stands at 16% as of now, it is far less that the stock during the same time last year.” The current water stock is at a three-year low.
In November 2018, the BMC had announced a 10% water cut and 15% cut.
The official added, “Even though we are taking water from the state, it does not mean that we can abolish the water cut. Monsoon is highly unpredictable and we do not want to take any chances by removing the water cut. The cut announced in November will continue till the coming monsoon.”