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Limaye saves Mumbai

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This story appeared in Mumbai Mirror:

Prakash Limaye, who retired from the BMC’s Waterworks department earlier this year, is based 100 km from Mumbai and is single-handedly saving nearly 50 million gallons of potable water enough for 1 million people daily from flowing into the Arabian Sea every day. On an average, Mumbai consumes 750 million gallons of water a day.

The pipeline connecting Modak Sagar to Mumbai passes through the periphery of Tansa. Limayes plan involves opening up valves on the pipelines at points closest to Tansa, thereby enabling the excess water to flow into Tansa instead of being wasted.

There are 30 scour valves passing through Tansa, each capable of releasing an average of 10 million gallons of water into the lake. At the moment, the BMC is opening 5-8 valves a day saving close to 50 million gallons of drinking water in the process every day. In all, 400 million gallons of water have been banked over the last eight days.

We have opened up five scours of the pipe coming from Modak Sagar towards Tansa and also stopped the water supply (daily share of 100 million gallons) from Tansa. As a result, the level of Tansa goes up by a foot (0.33 metres) daily. Each day, nearly 50 million gallons of water gets transferred from Modak Sagar to Tansa, Aher said.

Limaye, incidentally, had drawn up this blueprint in 2009, but a delay in getting the required approvals ensured that it was too late by the time the idea was implemented. That year, the city had to face acute water shortage, with the BMC imposing 15 per cent cuts on residential consumers.

That is an elegant and ingenious solution to an engineering problem.

But a few words about the source of the story are also in order. I find it wonderful that Mumbai Mirror front-paged this story. The print edition of this tabloid turns out to have a few pages of superb reporting. It is not as mindless as its web site appears to be. One wishes that the newspaper had engineered its site better to make it possible for others to find out that good journalism spouts in the unlikely places.


Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

August 14, 2012 at 4:33 am

Posted in Mumbai, water

Tagged with , ,

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