March 28, 2010

life in general: criminal water-related negligence by bombay muncipality

The last few days has seen an unprecedented number of pipes supplying water to Bombay bursting and millions of litres of water being criminally wasted (see newsreports here, here & here). 

Bombay receives a large part of it its water from artificial lakes that lie 50-100 kms outside Bombay in Thane district (see table just below).

Supply, as of 2004-05,
Artificial lakes from Distance Operational to Bombay (million
where water is bought: from Bombay since: litres per day)
Vihar 28 kms 1860 68
Tulsi 32 kms 1879 18
Tansa (across 4 phases) 110 kms 1892-1948 455
Vaitama 122 kms 1957 490
Upper Vaitarna 140 kms 1972 554
Bhatsa (various phases) 110 kms 1981-1997    1365

Bombay Municipal Corporation (BMC), that is statutorily liable to maintain the water supply lines, has been tardy in the last few years in moving quickly to repair or replace old pipes. See the chart below (click on it to see it enlarged & clear) for an insight into the expenditure level on water supply lines and other civic infrastructure like roads. Water lines should have been getting more financial attention all along the last few years but it is only in the 2009-10 and 2010-11 budgets of BMC that expenditure outlays has been increased significantly. 

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