Apprehending a delay in monsoon and in order to meet the demand for water till it arrives, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has started rationing water in seven wards in its jurisdiction from April 28. The civic body has imposed a half-day water cut once a week in every ward.
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted a "below-normal" southwest monsoon on account of El Nino. As per the forecast, the monsoon is likely to be delayed and less rainfall.
A crisis plan
Following a direction from the state government to manage water judiciously and prepare a crisis plan to meet the demand till the monsoon arrives in the catchment areas of the dam, the NMMC has decided to evening water cut once a week in all wards except Digha where water is supplied from Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC).
As per the decision, the water supply cut schedule is Sunday -Turbhe, Monday- Belapur, Tuesday -Kopar Khairane, Wednesday -Ghansoli, Thursday -Vashi, Friday -Airoli and Saturday -Nerul. Dighe gets its supply from MIDC and will be impacted as per the schedule by the latter.
These short-term measures will help in containing water wastage across the city, but what the people expect are long-term solutions, said NatConnect Foundation director B N Kumar.
The people in general and planners and civic authorities in particular need to learn the proverbial lesson from ants – to save when you have plenty of supply – Kumar pointed out.
Since the 1970s, Navi Mumbai, depending on the supply from MIDC, grew up reeling under water cuts on Fridays and short supplies on the following two days, Kumar, a long-time resident of Navi Mumbai, said. He regretted that the crisis continues even when NMMC has its own dam at Morbe.
Advice to take water harvesting seriously
People can manage with half a day supply cut for now, but one is unsure about the future shocks, NatConnect said in its e-mail to NMMC and called for taking water harvesting seriously and strictly implementing it.
As the UN said, El Niño is not a one-off event. The international community must boost efforts to build the capacity for disaster risk management to prevent El Niño weather extremes from causing humanitarian crises, the Economic and Social Council of the UN said.
In this context, NatConnect called for aggressive rain forestry, rainwater harvesting, reusing recycled water for non-potable purposes not only in industrial areas but housing societies as well.
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