iconimg Saturday, September 05, 2015

Poorvi Kulkarni , Hindustan Times
Mumbai, November 04, 2013
The complex working of valves, chambers, reservoirs and pumping stations that enable you to receive water through your taps every day will soon become accessible to the general public. Taking a cue from countries such as Russia and Singapore, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has proposed a multi-storey water information centre, akin to a museum, at its water treatment complex in Bhandup.

Information kiosks, audiovisual presentations, live demonstrations and books and journals are on the cards to attract visitors to the centre and break down the complex process for visitors, which the BMC hopes will become a tourist attraction as well.

It has invited expression of interest documents from firms to design the centre, through which the civic body aims to make citizens aware of the city’s water supply and sewerage system.

“What is unique about Mumbai’s water supply system is that it is not a planned network. It has evolved over time to meet the growing demand. It is important that this history is chronicled,” said Ramesh Bhambale, chief hydraulic engineer, BMC.

Around 3,500 million litres of water are supplied to city’s households daily.

The city’s first source of water supply, the Vehar dam, was completed in 1860.

In the 153 years since, six more dams have been built that provide water to the city, with one of them — Middle Vaitarna — completed in 2012.

The idea for the centre formed a year ago, when senior civic officials visited the water visitor centre in Singapore and was reiterated during interactions with authorities of the Russian Federation at the Fifth BRICS Friendship Cities conference in the city in January.

“There were many deliberations on the concept and qualification criteria for the firm for the project. We did not want it to be like just another building,” said Rajiv Jalota, additional municipal commissioner, in charge of water supply.

The existing water treatment complex in Bhandup is open to the public once a week.

“But people are unaware of this facility. The proposed centre will be citizen-friendly and can be a tourist attraction,” Bhambale said.