The city is expected to get 50% more water in the next three years with the BMC setting up seven sewage treatment plants (STP), civic body chief Ajoy Mehta told HT on Tuesday.
Mehta said currently, 1,500 million litres of water goes untreated into the sea. By setting up these plants, the city will not only generate more water, but also rid the city’s coastline of waste.
Without the 20% cut, the civic body supplies 3,750 million litres of water every day. These projects will increase if successful, the supply to more than 5,000 million litres a day until 2041. Apart from this, the city will get an additional 2,800 million litres of water every day with the construction of dams, including the Gargai-Pinjal and the Damanganga-Pinjal river-linking project.
“Setting-up these plants will be the biggest game changer to increase water supply. Treating this water will increase supply by 50%. We will set up these plants in the next three years,” Mehta said.
The civic body planned the construction of seven STPs in Colaba, Worli, Ghatkopaar, Malad, Bandra, Versova and Bhandup in 2002.
It has got environmental clearances for all of them, except the one at Malad. However, Mehta confirmed that in a recent meeting with Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar, the BMC got an in-principle nod to set up an STP in Malad.
“We have already issued tenders for Colaba and the rest are in process,” Mehta added.
The BMC is also considering STP as a more viable option in place of setting-up desalination plants, Mehta said.
To reduce water wastage, Mehta said the BMC has identified old, creaky pipelines that leak. The civic body is also looking to remove illegal connections in slums and clear contamination. “We have identified these common contamination points, which will be looked at,” he said.
In terms of adding to the city’s water sources, Mehta said that the process of surveying and demarcating Gargai-Pinaj and Damangaga is in progress.
For Gargai, the BMC has already submitted a package to rehabilitate 770 affected villagers to the Collector of Palghar and it will appoint consultants to prepare a design project report
(DPR) for the reservoir that will add 440 million litres of water to the city’s supply.
Damanganga, a joint-project between Maharashtra and Gujarat will add 1,586 million litres to the city’s supply. The BMC will construct a 64-km long tunnel to get this water to the Bhandup reservoir.
For Pinjal, the civic body is yet to plan the project and rehabilitation of the affected villagers.
“These projects will take a long time to implement in terms of rehabilitation and planning,” Mehta said.