5,000 forest ponds to be set up in Thane in 3 months

Nearly 5,000 forest ponds will be constructed in the next three months in Maharashtra’s Thane district, to meet the drinking water and irrigation needs, an official has revealed

The zilla parishad will construct 5,000 forest ponds across Thane district in Maharashtra, in the next three months. The work on the project began on October 2, 2019, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, zilla parishad’s chief executive officer, Hiralal Sonawane said in a statement, on October 6, 2019. The construction of these reservoirs in forest areas, will help water percolate underground and the supply would then be available for quite some time, he said.

“This will be a gift to farmers, to carry out proper cultivation of vegetables in the district. This will help in growing vegetables, cereals and other Rabi crops in large quantities and also provide water for drinking and washing purposes,” the official said. These reservoirs will also reduce the need for tanker water supply in summer, he added.


BMC withdraws 10% water cut, as stock in seven lakes rises

With the monsoon bringing some respite, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has announced that it has withdrawn the 10% water cut that was in force since November 2018

July 22, 2019: With the total stock of water in the seven lakes crossing the halfway mark, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), on July 20, 2019, rolled back the 10% water cut that was in force since November 2018. A civic official said the water cut was revoked from Saturday (July 20) morning. “The decision to lift the water cut was taken by the standing committee of the BMC and it was implemented from today,” Ashok Tawadiya, chief engineer of the hydraulics department, said.

See also: Per capita water availability declines from 1,816 cubic metres to 1,544 cubic metres

Decent amount of rainfall in the catchment areas prompted the civic administration to lift the water cut, he added. According to the official, as on Saturday, the lakes have crossed 51% of the required quantum, with one of the lakes already overflowing. The seven lakes – Upper Vaitarna, Modak Sagar, Middle Vaitarna, Bhatsa, Tansa, Vihar and Tulsi- must have 14.5 lakh million litres water as on October 1 every year, so that the city doesn’t have to face water cuts during the year.

The Tulsi lake, the smallest of the seven lakes, which supplies only one per cent water to Mumbai, overflowed on July 12, 2019. “We hope that there is a good rainfall in the remaining months of the monsoon and by September-end all the reservoirs get sufficient amount water,” another civic official said.


BMC forced to use reserve stock to supply drinking water to Mumbai

With the rains playing truant and water level in the lakes dipping further, the BMC has started supplying water to citizens from the reserve stock, officials said

June 28, 2019: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has said that it is now using the reserve stock, to provide water to citizens. “The civic administration has made arrangements for the supply of water till the end of July,” the BMC said in a statement, on June 27, 2019. In the statement, the civic body made an appeal to the citizens to use water sparingly. A senior civic official said that due to the absence of rain, only 5% water was left in the reservoirs supplying water to Mumbai. “This has prompted the civic administration to use the reserve stock of water for supply. However, there is no need to panic as we have sufficient stock of water, which will last till the end of July,” he said.

See also: Rajya Sabha members raise issue of drinking water crisis

The official also said that a section of the media has created a picture that the civic body has completely run out of water. “We still have 5% water left in the lakes and we strongly believe that there will be some good spells of rain in the coming days,” the official said, adding that only if there is no rain in the next few weeks, there would be problems.

When contacted, Ashok Tewadiya, chief engineer of the BMC’s Hydraulic Engineering Department, said that the lakes currently have ample water that will last till the end of July. “Any decision regarding water cuts will be taken by the senior officers of the BMC, after deliberations with the officials of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD),” he said. The BMC supplies 3,750 million litres of water every day to the residents of the island city and suburbs, which still falls short of the actual demand for 4,200 million litres.


Maharashtra government to ask BMC to ensure equitable water supply

The Maharashtra government has said that it will ask the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, to implement a report on equitable distribution of water across Mumbai

June 21, 2019: A report on equitable water distribution across Mumbai has been prepared and the Maharashtra government will ask the city’s civic body to implement it, minister of state for urban development Yogesh Sagar said, on June 20, 2019. He was responding to a question raised by NCP member Rahul Narvekar through a calling attention notice, in the legislative council.

“A comprehensive report on equitable water distribution for Mumbai city and its suburban areas is ready. The report will be shared with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) soon and the civic body will be asked to implement it,” Sagar said in the house.

To another question, he said people living on forest land in Mumbai for years were not getting adequate drinking water supply but the government will soon ensure it for them. Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had, in 2016, announced the setting up of a committee, to ensure equitable water distribution for the regions coming under the jurisdiction of the BMC.

See also: Tamil Nadu will have to rely on groundwater sources till October: CM

The Mumbai civic body loses around 25% to 27% water due to leakages, Sagar noted. “The government is trying hard to minimise such losses, so that it can cater to the growing drinking water demand,” he said. Sagar said although the number of city’s permanent residents was limited, its floating population (those who keep moving from place to place) put a lot of pressure on the administration.

“It is necessary to supply 270 litres of water per person in city areas, mainly due to the pressure of the floating population,” the minister said.

When contacted, Sagar said, “During the monsoon, if lakes do not have the requisite amount of water stocked up, experts can plan in advance and initiate steps. They will also consider ways to tackle the possible leakage of water while planning in advance.” The issue was raised in the council, in the backdrop of a 10% water cut imposed in Mumbai, since November 2018.

According to an official, the state government has also directed the BMC to set up flow metres in all the 258 water supply systems in the city. Flow metres will help gauge the quantity of water that goes through a system and will help calculate the amount of water received by an area, he said. Pressure gauges will also be set up at key points, where water needs to be sent uphill to residential or commercial users, the official said. Areas located on higher terrain need a particular amount of pressure to receive water, he said.


Parts of Mumbai may face 10-15% water cut till June 14, 2019

Parts of Mumbai may face water cuts by 10% to 15% till June 14, 2019, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has said

June 13, 2019: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said the water cut may be imposed, after a technical snag was reported on June 11, 2019, in the supply system at Bhatsa dam, which supplies water to large parts of the financial capital. Some media reports had earlier suggested that Mumbaikars may face up to 25% water cut till June 14, 2019. However, engineers of the BMC’s hydraulic department were able to resolve the issue and later clarified that parts of the metropolis may face water cut by 10% to 15%.

See also: Virat Kohli fined for wastage of drinking water at his Gurugram home

The BMC, in a statement, said, “There isn’t a water cut. There was a technical issue at Bhatsa but it has been resolved now. The city (not only south island) may face some water cut but it will be not more than 10-15%.” The Bhatsa dam supplies water to areas like Matunga, Sion, Dongri and Byculla, among others. Residential, commercial and industrial premises in Mumbai are already facing 10% to 15% cut in water supply timings.

The current stock in the seven lakes supplying water to Mumbai – Upper Vaitarna, Modak Sagar, Middle Vaitarna, Bhatsa, Tansa, Vehar and Tulsi – has fallen drastically. Meanwhile, the BMC has appealed to Mumbaikars to judiciously use water and avoid any wastage.

Mumbaikars to face 10 per cent water cut from November 15, 2108: BMC

With water stocks in seven reservoirs 15 per cent lesser than the previous year, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation will implement a 10 per cent cut in water supply from November 15, 2018, till further review

November 15, 2018: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), on November 14, 2018, said that it had decided to impose a 10 per cent cut in the amount of water supply from November 15, 2018 and to effect this, there will be a 15 per cent reduction in the duration of water supply. A senior BMC official said that this decision was taken, after it was found that the water stock in the lakes was 15 per cent lesser, compared to the same period last year.

He said the water cut will remain in force till the further review of the water level. “The water cut will be applicable for all entities like residential, commercial or other establishments,” he said, adding that the water cut was inevitable, due to less rainfall in August and September 2018. The water cut will be effective in Bhiwandi, Thane and Kalyan, as well.

Against the demand of supplying 4,200 million litres of water every day, the civic body supplies 3,800 million litres of water to the people of the mega city and from November 15, 2018, it will reduce supply of 380 million litres of water every day.

See also: Mumbai Congress chief accuses BMC chief of bringing Dhobi Ghat under SRA scheme

According to an engineer of the hydraulic department of the BMC, the seven lakes had 11,11,385 million litres of water on November 11, 2018 and that the current stock will last for 292 days. In the corresponding period last year, the lakes were over 92 per cent full and had 13,33,522 million litres of water, he said. Mumbai’s water supply comes from Modak Sagar, Tansa lake, Vehar lake, Tulsi lake, Upper Vaitarna, Bhatsa and Middle Vaitarna. The Bhatsa and Upper Vaitarna come under the state government’s control, while other lakes are maintained by the BMC.


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