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Friday, December 11, 2009

New towers in city will not get water till 2012

Nagpur: The state government has decided not to give water connections to any new tower (seven-storeyed and above),clusters or townships in Mumbai till the Middle Vaitarna water supply project is completed. 

    The water project, estimated to be at a cost of Rs 1,329 crore, will supply 455 MLD (million litres daily) water to Mumbai by March 2012. This means that builders who start construction now will have to wait for another two-and-a-half years for water connections for their high-rises or colonies. 
    Announcing this in the legislative assembly on Friday, chief minister Ashok Chavan said towers/highrise apartments and townships required at least 2 lakh litres water daily."We will not issue connections to such builders till the Middle Vaitarna project is completed. In other cases, the civic chief will exercise his discretion to provide water connections to builders based on the demand-supply situation,'' he told the House. 

New projects that are annnounced or get underway from today will get water only after Middle Vaitarna goes on stream in 2012 
The severe water crisis in Mumbai could turn into a disastrous situation after July 2010 if we don't conserve water now, says CM 
Save water to stave off disaster, says CM 
Nagpur: Chief minister Ashok Chavan cautioned on Friday that the water crisis could get worse after July 15, 2010, if conservation measures were not adopted with all seriousness now. 
    Announcing the state government's decision not to provide water connections to proposals for new projects that consume 2 lakh litres daily, he said, "With the burgeoning population in Mumbai, the demand for water will increase in coming years. We need to be prepared for the worst." He pointed out that besides the Middle Vaitarna, two more water projects—the water supply tunnel between Cross Maidan and Malabar Hill and between Maroshi and Ruparel College—were being expedited. 

    The water crisis issue was raised by 31 MLAs in the House, a majority of them from Mumbai, the discussion going on for over an hour. Chavan said he was ready for a closed-door meeting with all the MLAs from Mumbai after the session. "You should realise that there has been less rainfall during the last monsoon. Also, the rains were delayed by two months,'' he told the MLAs."We receive water in Mumbai from Modak Sagar, Tansa, Tulsi, Vihar, Upper Vaitarna and Bhatsa lakes. But in the past three years, there has been a drop in supply by 2 lakh MLD,'' he said. The supply for the city and suburbs has been 3,450 MLD in the past and this has been brought down to 2,900 MLD after the water cut, thereby saving 550 MLD. "This justifies the water cut,'' he said, adding supply has also been cut for swimming pools in housing societies 
and construction purposes. 
    "We can overcome this crisis only through long term measures/projects and water conservation. We have two more water supply projects—Gargai (455 MLD) and Pinjal (865 MLD)—whose study has been completed and the projects will commence soon,'' he assured the House. 
    He said a huge quantity of water was being supplied to the railways, the BEST and the port trust. "For example, so much water is used for cleaning BEST buses which ply across Mumbai. We will henceforth recycle water for such purposes,'' he said, adding that recycled water would be made available by April 1 next year. 
    "The government will assist the BMC in keeping checks on water thefts, water loss and unscrupulous elements who install illegal booster pumps. We will also replace old and dilapidated pipelines, with work on 300 km of pipelines already completed,'' he told the House. Replying to a question by legislator Jitendra Awhad, the CM agreed to conduct a water audit for Mumbai. "But my appeal to citizens would be to save water and co-operate 
with the government and the BMC when it comes to water cuts,'' he stated in reference to morchas being taken out on the water issue. 
    When contacted, minister of state (housing) Sachin Ahir said several builders were waiting for the occupation certificate and water connections for the past three months. "The CM should show some leniency and clear such proposals,'' he stated, adding that a delegation of MLAs would soon meet Chavan in this connection.


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