Incessant rains this monsoon have filled Morbe dam to the overflow level. The Khalapur tehsildar, Rajendra Chavan on Tuesday initiated controlled release of water from the dam to ensure there is no flooding in the region. Villages located in the area have also been asked to be on alert.

Chavan pressed the button to open the flap gates that allowed water to gush out of the dam.

Located near Khalapur in Raigad district, at Dhavri River which originates from Patalganga River, Morbe dam is Navi Mumbai’s primary source of water and is owned by the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC).

The filling up of the dam will ensure that Navi Mumbai residents will not have to face water cuts in the coming year, as they had faced a couple of years back.

Manohar Sonawane, NMMC executive engineer, Morbe, said, “On Tuesday, the dam water level reached 87.85 metres. The maximum height at which water overflows in the dam is 88 metres. The dam’s catchment area has received 2,273.40mm of rainfall this monsoon season.

“This means there are over 185 million cubic metres of water in the dam that has a total storage capacity of 190.89 million cubic metres,” he said.

Sonawane explained that the water level in the dam is being managed at 87.85 to 87.90 by releasing water in a controlled manner by opening the flap gates. “We had opened the gate 25cm between 8pm on Tuesday and 3am on Wednesday, and released water at 31cubic metres per second.”

“This will ensure that there is no sudden overflow from the dam or consequent flooding of the region. We will continue with this controlled release as it continues to rain in the region,” Sonawane said.

Due to shortage of rainfall in the Morbe dam catchment area in 2015, NMMC had resorted to 33% water cut in November 2015. Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) which supplies water to the slum areas had resorted to 60% cut leading to water supply on alternate days. In some areas, residents even stored their water under lock and key.

The water cut continued in 2016 too as the rainfall, though better, was not good enough. The water level at Morbe dam had reached 85.60m after the monsoon ended. Last year, the dam had reached the overflow level on August 26. Water from the dam was released then as well as in 2013.

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