12th Oct 2017
THANE: The city witnessed one of the strongest monsoon season this year that could have otherwise ensured the water supply requirement of over 900 days for the city if it was tapped properly by the authorities. Experts, however, blame apathy on part of the authorities and rampant concretization that may have led to a bulk of this water to have drained into the creek.
A massive amount of rain as high as 3,500mm showered over the 128 sqkms area of the city over the last four months in Thane city. Experts have estimated the volume of rains showered here to be nearly 4.43lakh million litres that is equal to the daily water supply of the city for nearly 900 days of the city. The lake city requires nearly 480 million litres of water daily for consumption and non-potable use that is supplied by the corporation through various agencies.
A conservative estimate by the experts here reveal that some volume of rain water could have been percolated within the ground in the no development zones in the city like the Yeoor forests and other small green patches. However, a major volume of rain water would have been swept away to the creek as the city has seen rapid concretization over the years leaving bare minimum soil space left for water percolation.
Further, the city has no reservoir that can tap and store the rain water for further use except the around 32 lakes that are also fast turning into ponds with the civic administration reportedly adding a cement layer to its sides. The city apparently lacks any mechanism to capture and store rain water and neither has it evolved any systems for smart use of this water over the years that eventually flows into the gutter.
Activists say tapping the rain water would have also saved the corporation a notable amount of money. The city draws nearly 480million litres water from various sources like STEM, MIDC, BMC in addition to its own sources and incurs a monthly expenditure of Rs 85 crores for the same.
"The corporation should promote storage of rain water that otherwise gets drained away. If there was a mechanism to tap this water, the civic body could have saved a lot on expense incurred on buying water from other sources as residents could have utilized this water during the monsoons," pointed an activist.
"There is an urgent need for tapping the abundant rain water in the ground and not allow it to so easily slip down into the drains. We have been wasting resources and money to draw water from far off reservoirs but are not ready to tap the abundant rain water. A huge amount of inconvenience and money could be saved if residents start tapping rain water and using it for non-potable purposes," suggested an expert from Thane.
"Percolation of water in the soil doesn't happen fast in the city as there is less soil space available for percolation here. Water thus flows down the drain soon. We are appealing residents to adopt rain water harvesting to ensure we have a healthy underground water table in the city," said a senior official from the water supply department.
Source : timesofindia.indiatimes.com