The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC’s) project to supply drinking water round-the-clock to Mumbai by 2012 will be delayed by at least a year as the Centre has refused to release funds for it.
The Centre had assured the money under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission for part of the plan. The BMC planned to use the money to replace 50 km of pipelines that bring water from the Tansa reservoir to the city as they are 100 years old and are leaking. The BMC also planned to build a 15-km water tunnel from Gundawli in Thane district to Bhandup. These two projects were key to the 24-hour drinking water supply plan.
The cost was Rs 2,100 crore and the Centre had promised Rs 735 crore. The state had committed another Rs 315 crore; the rest would have come from the BMC budget.
But, in a letter to the BMC on Thursday, the Union Urban Development Department said it was facing a funds shortage. Additional Municipal Commissioner (Projects) Anil Diggikar said: “Now the BMC has to raise the money from internal sources or borrow from outside.”
Mumbai requires 4,000 million litres a day (MLD); there is a shortfall of 700 MLD. These projects would have made 100 MLD available.