The much-hyped 24-hour drinking water supply programme, as announced by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), appears to be a distant dream.
Recently the civic body had tried to supply water for 12 hours in the western suburbs on a trial basis, but the move failed due to inadequate technical preparations and co-ordination.
According to sources in the civic body, estimated cost of the Sujal Mumbai Abhiyaan project is over Rs 1,000 crore. And the BMC has already spent about Rs800 crore. The BMC had commissioned three underground tunnels for better water supply.
On Friday, the BMC started the Veravali-Yari Road underground water tunnel (one of the three commissioned tunnels), which is supposed to supply water to Andheri and Jogeshwari.
While the hydraulic department was checking the level of water, the civic engineers started water supply at three different points at the same time. This reduced the level of water at the Veravali reservoir. Due to the reduced level, the tunnel and other pipelines did not get sufficient pressure.
“Now the BMC is supplying water for five hours in these areas at different timings. Though the tunnel is carrying 480 million litres water per day, it not possible to supply water for 12 hours continuously,” said an official from the hydraulic department.
“We are plugging the loopholes and controlling the pilferage. We have launched leak detection programmes. Rehabilitation of old pipelines is also underway,” said Rajeev Jalota, additional municipal commissioner.