Sets time frame of two months, forms an experts committee

Mumbai : The state will set up an experts committee to plug losses worth around 27 per cent in the water supply of Mumbai and put a roadmap in place for equitable distribution of water in Mumbai within two months, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis assured the Legislative Assembly here on Tuesday as he replied debate on a calling attention motion to discuss water woos of Mumbai and its suburbs.

Significantly, the Shiv Sena members were absent while the calling attention motion moved by BJP MLA Yogesh Sagar and others was being debated. The municipal corporation does not distribute the water in proportion to population, the motion contended.

“Over 27 per cent, that is, over 900 million litres of water gets wasted everyday due to leakages,” the CM agreed and said that the distribution in the island city and the suburbs should be equal and on the basis of population.

“BMC supplies 960-975 million litre water daily (MLD) to the island city’s 31 lakh population, 920-930 MLD water to Eastern suburbs’ 30 lakh population while part of Goregaon to Dahisar which has a population of 30 lakh gets only 620 MLD of water. This is injustice to the suburban region,” Sagar said and demanded that the government should appoint a committee to study equal distribution as per the population of the area.

“The committee should not include existing or retired BMC officials as they would favour the water distribution network of the BMC,” he demanded.

In response, Fadnavis said that the government will come up with a roadmap of all water related issues of Mumbai.

He also said that the government will ask the municipal commissioner to take suggestions from legislators to fix terms of reference for the committee’s scope of work.

“Although it is difficult to ascertain the exact percentage of unaccounted water, it is approximately 27 per cent. The reason is leakages, theft, distribution losses. But the BMC is trying to reduce it by adopting various measures like replacing distribution lines,” Fadnavis said.

While replying to a question raised by BJP’s Amit Satam, Fadnavis said soon a desalination plant will be set up for the entire Mumbai Metropolitan Region as erratic monsoons are being witnessed due to climate change.

“A pilot project will be implemented soon. Though it will be an expensive project, the government will consider to set up the desalination project on a pilot basis,” Fadnavis said.

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