Scanty monsoon leaves Thane staring at more water cuts this summer
The city may be staring at a serious water crisis this summer. With Thane district receiving insufficient rainfall last monsoon, the civic body said water supply cuts may increase from the existing 36-hours-per-week during April and May.
Kalwa, Mumbra, Diva, Wagale Estate and few areas around Ghodbunder Road, already facing water shortage, will be the worst-affected in this crisis.
The Thane Municipal Corporation, besides having its own water sources, gets its supply from Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) and Shahad-Temghar Water Supply Authority (STEM).
While the BMC routes water from the Bhatsa and Tansa dams, MIDC and STEM both share supplies from the Barvi Dam. At present STEM has imposed a shutdown every Wednesday while the MIDC does so every Friday.
A civic official from TMC’s water department, requesting anonymity, said STEM’s 22% shutdown implied water would not be available for thirty hours each week. “But supply actually stops two hours before stipulated time and resumes two to four hours after shutdown period to maintain pressure. This means water supply is cut for at least 36 hours each week,” he said.
The official also said MIDC’s 16% shutdown period implied water supply would be cut for 21 hours each week. “But this again extends to 25 or 26 hours. Kalwa, Mumbra, Diva, Kharegaon, Wagale Estate and some parts of Ghodbunder Road are badly affected by this. The BMC has not yet imposed any shut down, so there are no water cuts in areas of Kopri and Tekadi Bunglow.”
The official confirmed that shutdown periods would only increase in the coming months.
Several residents said a water supply cut on Tuesday is resumed only by Thursday. The pressure is so low that it takes at least a whole day to resume normal flow. In most areas, if there is a shutdown on Friday, it is resumed only on Sunday. Several areas receive water only three times a week.
Sandeep Patil, 25, resident of Wagale Estate said, “It is difficult to get our daily chores done. I reside with three other flatmates and none of us are home when the water supply is resumed to store it. We try saving more water during the weekends, though we fear the situation will be worse in summer.”
Another resident Shashikant Dandekar, 60, Kharegaon said, “We receive adequate water supply merely twice a week, while there is no water supply for two days. The pressure is so low on the other days, it is difficult to store it.”
An official from the irrigation department, however, said he could not comment on the planned increase in shutdown time. “Water levels in the three dams — Bhatsa, Barvi and Andra — are 10% lower than they were the same time last year. Last year, they were 70-72% full and this year, they are 61% of their total capacity,” he said.
The official also said the irrigation department has planned to use available resources till July 15 and shutdowns would increase or decrease depending on other factors such as evaporation of water and demand.