Let us not allow a water crisis to overwhelm city


Projects such as the Gargai dam or desalination plant at Manori, which have been discussed for over a decade, have seen no progress.

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An in-depth report stated in this paper that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) needs to take firm steps to improve water stock for the city. For the third consecutive year, the civic body has imposed water cuts due to the delayed monsoon.

Projects such as the Gargai dam or desalination plant at Manori, which have been discussed for over a decade, have seen no progress.

Water levels have touched a new low and there has been a delayed monsoon. The water crisis has become the new normal for the city despite ‘normal rain’ during monsoon season. The situation will remain the same for at least the next five years as no water projects are anticipated to be complete till then.

Looking at the crisis assailing other states and cities in India, it is important that those in charge expedite these projects that will increase the water supply. Red tape should be a thing of the past, with an accent on single window clearance, licences, permissions etc being granted faster in keeping with global norms. This, of course, after all due diligence.

Perhaps the fastest action is needed in this aspect. Approximately 25 per cent of the total water supply in the commercial capital is unmetered or unaccounted for due to leakages, unauthorised connections, water theft and metering inaccuracies. Ideally, the loss percentage should not be more than 15 per cent of the total supply. It is a huge number considering the amount of daily supply. The BMC has to reduce the unmetered water to 15 per cent, then almost 550 MLD of water would be saved. Old pipelines have to be repaired or replaced and leakages need to be plugged. This has to be done quickly and with an eye on the future. It is not enough to be rain dependent or sit back, confident of robust rainfall. Let us not allow a water crisis to overwhelm the city.





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