February 25, 2008

life in general: criminal water wastage by all of bombay!

The way Bombay uses its water and is dumb about it would shock any sensitive society concerned about using natural resources properly. There is criminal wastage of Bombay Municipal Corporation-supplied processed drinking water by the thousands of residential co-operative housing society buildings, private bungalows and office buildings.

This wastage happens when water is pumped from the ground-level storage tank to the tank at the terrace. When the terrace tank gets filled up it overflows. The watchman at the ground level, even if alert, gets to know about the overflow only when he sees it in the drain pipe that comes from terrace to ground floor, and only then he goes to the pump room to switch off the pump. It takes anywhere between 3 and 10 minutes before the water overflow is halted. It is much more if the watchman does not immediately see the overflow and sees it 5-20 minutes later.

When this happens, in a single building itself, about three to seven thousand litres of water get wasted every day. This happens in all those buildings who have not installed electronic cut-off mechanisms that automatically stops the pump when the water in the terrace tank reaches a little below the overflow level. In my estimate, 7-8 of 10 buildings do not have this. Even in those who have it in a lot of cases the electronic system gets faulty and is not repaired, rendering it useless.

The BMC turns a blind eye to this criminal wastage. It is high time it is made accountable for it.

But the onus is also on the affluent citizens staying in the residential buildings or working in the office buildings to be aware of this kind of water wastage and install electronic systems to put a stop to it.

Of course, water gets wasted in other ways too -- keeping water taps open at full force, keeping showers on when applying soap on body while bathing, keeping tap on while brushing teeth or shaving, using 10-15 litres flush tank water for every little piss in the toilet, not repairing leaking taps, and so on and so forth.

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