After running a water train to Latur, the Railways has once again come to the aid of residents hit by acute water scarcity. The railway authorities have offered water to Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) and the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC), both of which had to resort to sharp water supply cuts ranging between 30-60 per cent.
As per the directions of Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, the railway authorities have offered to supply water to both the civic corporations for the next three months, from Dighe dam on Thane Belapur Road. The dam is controlled by the railways.
Both the corporations are currently in the process of figuring out the manner of transporting water. “We have permitted the NMMC to lift water from our Railway dam at Dighe for the next three months,” said the General Manager of Central Railways SK Sood.
The TMC, which usually runs on a supply of around 480 million litres per day (mld) of water, coming from the Bhatsa and Barvi dams, is currently running short by around 166 mld. Owing to the water shortage, 60 hours water cut has been introduced in areas like Mumbra, Kalwa, Diva and 40-hour water cuts in other parts of Thane since January.
To compensate the scarcity, the TMC has dug several borewells, wells, and installed power pumps which yield non-potable water for secondary uses like washing.
Thane Additional Municipal Commissioner Sunil Chavan said, “Our water requirement in the worst-hit areas like Kalwa, Mumbra and Diva is around 60 mld. But we will take around 10 mld from the Dighe dam. We are still figuring out the details and the municipal commissioner will visit the dam on Monday.” He added that they are in the process of testing the quality of non-potable water from the dam.
Currently, Navi Mumbai is facing a 32 per cent water cut and the NMMC has fallen short of around 130 mld, in comparison to its usual supply of 420 mld.
“We will be getting around 3-4 mld of water from Dighe dam, which can ease the situation in the areas near dams like Hiltonpada. We will start taking water after the networking process is completed, which will take around 15 days,” said Arvind Shinde, executive engineer with the NMMC.