Mumbaikars may have to face 15 per cent water cut due to scanty rain in the city.
Mumbai is likely to face water shortage due to deficient rain in June. According to the Indian Meteorological Department there has been a 40 per cent shortfall of rain this month. It had already predicted poor rain on account of the El Nino weather phenomenon. If the situation doesn’t improve then Mumbaikars may have to face 15 per cent water cut. There are several areas of the city which already face huge water problem as people have to hire water tankers. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has been unable to draw water from three lakes Middle and Upper Vaitarna, Vihar Lake. The civic body can now rely on four lakes — Modak Sagar, Tansa, Tulsi and Bhatsa.
“We have received only three per cent of rainfall in June till now, whereas we should have ideally received at least 15 per cent. If Mumbai does not get rains in the next 2-3 days, we will have to impose a water cut of 10-15 per cent in the city,” a senior MCGM (Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai) official told.
According to Deputy Municipal Commissioner Ramesh Bambale a final decision in this regard will be taken in a review meeting, which will be held in the next two days.
Bambale said that while monsoons in the city remain uncertain, MCGM has advised citizens to use water wisely and refrain from using drinking water for other purposes.
“We have been cautioning citizens against wasting water, which is now scarce. Water needs to be saved as much as possible at this time. We are not sure how the monsoon situation will pan out in the future. If water in the lakes further dries up, we will be left with no option in our hands,” he said.
Tansa Lake is merely two metres above the lowest drawable level, whereas Tulsi is just 3 metres and Bhatsa is almost 4 metre above the lowest drawable level. If rain doesn’t fall in the next few days then city will have to rely on Modak Sagar for water supply.
As of today, water in seven major lakes which supplies water to the city is 1.32 lakh million litres (enough to last for a month) compared to 3,33,906 lakh million litres last year. Thus water in lakes is depleting day by day which has become a huge concern for the civic body.
“We have not decided yet but we have to impose water cut,” said Rajiv Jalota, additional municipal commissioner and in-charge of water department.
The metropolis faced a similar water crisis in July 2009, when a 30 per cent water cut was imposed on the city. The water cut back then was the maximum permitted by Mumbai’s water supply network.
The city requires at least 12-13 lakh million litres in all lakes to supply water throughout the year without cut. The BMC, supplies 3,450 million litre water daily to the city while the city’s requirement is about 4,200 million litre per day.
If the city receives inadequate rainfall then the prices of vegetables and essential commodities will rise. It’s bad news for the common man as he is already grappling with rising inflation.
APMC Vashi director Ashok Walunj told, “If there isn’t adequate rainfall, vegetable production in Nashik and other places will be badly hit and this will further fuel price rise. The central and state governments should fix minimum support price for all vegetables. This way farmers will not be deprived of a reasonable return on their investment. This will also benefit consumers.”