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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

‘Better mgmt will solve water crisis not new tech’

Mumbai: Mayor Sunil Prabhu and several senior corporators may have taken off on a trip to Singapore in search of new technology to plug the city's water crisis, but closer home officials and citizens said what is needed is better management of the supply system to sort out the problem. 

    Importing expensive technologies are not going to solve the issue, they said. "It's not really necessary to bring in new technologies. If we are able to plug the leaks in our existing water supply lines and have a better water management most of the city's water problems will be sorted out," said a senior civic official. 
    The BMC is in the process of mapping out the entire water supply system in the city and identifying faulty lines but the entire process will take at least three-four years, said the official. 
    In 2010, when the city was facing one of the worst water cuts, then mayor Shraddha Jadhav and civic group leaders of political parties had attended the same annual Singapore International Water Week to try and end the water woes. They came back with a solution to minimize the rate of evaporation of water from Mumbai's lakes by using an organic palm oil-based solution and mix it with water to form a layer of oil on the wa
ter that prevents evaporation.
    But it was infeasible, a senior hydraulic official. "It is not possible to use the same technology that is used to solve the 
problems abroad in Mumbai as we need solutions that are specific to our problems. Secondly, we do not have the same infrastructure facilities that other nations enjoy," the official told TOI. 
    Civic activists also feel that attending international conferences will not provide a solution to Mumbai's water woes. "We need a conference on water conservation in Mumbai along with all the stakeholders. We need to focus more on indigenous ideas and solutions to our water problems," Hansel D'Souza, president Juhu citizen welfare group, said. 

Times View 
For citizens worried about water cuts, the BMC trip to Singapore–ostensibly to study its distribution-supply chain model–is like adding salt to injury. The BMC has failed miserably to provide a basic constituent of urban life, adequate, clean drinking water. These trips abroad do nothing else besides fattening netas' and babus' already-fat passports.


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