The much-awaited water project for the city got a go-ahead with the laying of the foundation stone for the Rs. 505-crore Middle Vaitarana Dam project.
“Water supply projects worth Rs. 2,000 crore that were earlier rejected by the Centre will get preference,” said Union Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy at the function at the Bhandup Water Treatment Plant.
The project will be ready by April 2012 and it will supply 455 million liters of drinking water everyday. Middle Vaitarna Dam will be the first Roller Compacted Concrete dam constructed by a Chinese company. The proposed height of the dam is 105 m and length is 530 m.
Currently, Mumbai has shortage of 800 MLD (million litres daily) of water.
At present, the city gets 3450 MLD of water against its demand of 4200 MLD
The project was recommended by Chitale Committee in 1993 but was delayed due to delay in getting funds as well as environmental and security clearance from the Centre.
The water supply projects mentioned by Reddy includes replacement of Tansa pipeline worth Rs. 900 crore and a tunnel form Gundavli in Andheri to Bhandup worth Rs. 1,100 crore.
Following a request by Gurudas Kamat, Reddy said his ministry would consider the BMC’s plan to set up a desalination project to make sea water potable.
“I will consult the finance minister. It needs huge money but people of Mumbai deserve it,” Reddy said.
Once the Middle Vaitarana dam is completed, water from the catchment will be brought to the Lower Vaitarna and supplied to the Bhandup treatment plant through a 40-km pipeline. It will be then treated and supplied to the city.
Shiv Sena Executive President Uddhav Thackeray asked the Centre to help in the other water supply project like Gargai and Pinjal that would provide additional 1300 MLD a day.
Reddy also laid the foundation stone at the project of partial closure of Deonar and full closure of Gorai dumping ground. “Mounting waste causes pollution. Bombay authorities have done what is done in the advanced countries. Mumbai has always been a leader,” said Reddy.