Malabar Hill Reservoir Repairs: Civic Documents From 1987 Challenge Current BMC Stand On Reconstruction

Malabar Hill Reservoir Repairs: Civic Documents From 1987 Challenge Current BMC Stand On Reconstruction

The important civic document was found in a bag left by a civic official on a local train on Wednesday.

SHEFALI PARAB-PANDITUpdated: Wednesday, January 31, 2024, 11:08 PM IST
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Malabar Hill Reservoir | Representational photo

The leakages in the century-old Malabar Hill Reservoir (MHR) were repaired 35 years back without emptying the tank, reveals a document found by the activist Zoru Bhathena. The important civic document was found in a bag left by a civic official on a local train on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the expert committee is yet to submit the final report deciding the fate of MHR.

Officials firm that reservoir can't be repaired without emptying the 5 compartments

On January 9, the expert committee submitted the interim report. The four members of the committee ruled out the need for demolition of the 137-year-old tank. However, for carrying out repairs, the water supply would need to be stopped for 3 to 4 days, said the report. The civic officials have been firm on their stand that the reservoir cannot be repaired without emptying the five compartments.

Bhathena's claim

Bhathena, who raised a voice along with the residents of Malabar Hill against the reconstruction of MHR, claimed, “A civic official’s bag found in a local train has documents of MHR, in which one of the paper is about the repair work of the reservoir carried out in 1987. The civic document says that the leakage of the reservoir was repaired without emptying it. If they could carry out repairs without stopping the water supply at that time, then why can’t they now?. The BMC’s story that they cannot repair the reservoir without emptying the tank is false.” P Velrasu, an additional municipal commissioner (projects) was not available for comments.

The residents and activists have been protesting against the BMC’s plan to demolish the reservoir and rebuild it. The reservoir beneath the Hanging Garden supplies 147 million litres per day (MLD) of water, mainly in South Mumbai. The BMC has proposed a project to reconstruct the MHR in a phased manner (with an additional capacity tank of 22 million litres (ML) +7 ML temporary tank for storage during the construction of phases). 

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