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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Lake levels dip, anger rises: Corporators rap civic body


Mumbai: With just 70 days of usable water left in the six lakes from which the city draws its supply, members of the civic standing committee minced no words in voicing their dissatisfaction over the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)'s handling of the situation. 
    Pointing out that Hindu and Muslim months of abstinence—Shravan and Ramzan—are commencing from Friday, the members took the civic administration to task for its failure to come up with an effective long-term solution to tackle water scarcity. Shravan and Ramzan will be followed by Eid and Ganeshotsav. 
    BJP corporator from Mulund Manoj Kotak said, "There is bound to be excess water consumption during the festive season. It would be very unfortunate if citizens can't enjoy the festivals because of lack of water. The monsoon has been delayed to the middleof July andthe administration shouldtakethis into consideration and plan for the coming months." 
    Samajwadi Party group leader Rais Shaikhsaid, "Water is essential during Ramzan. The administration should try to provide mosques with additional water." 
    Members of the civic standing committee urged the administration to recon
sider its stand on using desalination plants. Said Shaikh, "We should not completely depend on the monsoon to provide us with enough water for the rest of the year. With the change in climatic 
conditions, we need to start looking at other options like desalination plants." 
    The civic administration, however, reiterated its position on desalination plants, saying it was not a cost-effectivesolution. "If weusedesalination plants,wewillhaveto pay around Rs 70 per 1,000 litres of water. Besides, the costof maintaining desalina
tion plantsishigh," said additional municipal commissioner Mohan Adtani. 
    Shaikh alleged the estimates were outdated and asked the officials to study the proposal afresh. 
    Adtani said the BMC plans to adopt a two-pronged approach to tackle water crisis. "We have a long-term plan of setting up threedams. Of these, the Middle Vaitarna has been completed and the other two will be completedby 2030.For thetimebeing, the administration is considering using cloud seeding to induce rainfall in the catchment area. We also plan to repair and rejuvenate the existing borewells in the city." 
    Shiv Sena's Shubha Raul suggestedtheBMC reacquire wells located in private societies. "Alotof peoplewhohave wellsinsidetheir compounds take advantage of the situation and sell water to the tanker mafia. TheBMC should take the wells back," she said. 

One more technology to fill up potholes 
The another BMC may pothole test -filling yet technology, Nano Composite Technology, on a pilot basis. The technology was presented before mayor Sunil Prabhu on Wednesday. TNN

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