To save crores of rupees on creating infrastructure to supply water to the city, the municipal corporation is considering carrying out the Damanganga river linkage and construction of the Pinjal dam projects on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis.
These projects are expected to supply an additional 2,065 million litres of water daily (mld) to the city — 865 mld from Pinjal and 1,200 mld from Damanganga river.
The plan is to connect Damanganga River to Pinjal river, a tributary of Vaitarana near Jawhar, and construct a dam on the river. The projects are expected to be ready in the next eight years.
To bridge the rapidly increasing gap between the demand for water and supply in the city, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has pinned its hope on these mega projects instead of opting for smaller projects such as Gargai, which as a capacity of 455 mld additional water supply.
“BOT is one of the ideas to implement both projects. We [the BMC] will buy the raw water from the private party,” said Rajiv Jalota, additional municipal commissioner (Water projects). “But the plan is in the primary stage, we have just started correspondence with the river linkage authority for the Damanganga project.”
Currently, the BMC spends Rs 11 per 1,000 litres to supply purified water to consumers. The same would cost Rs 15-16 per 1,000 litres in 2017-18, if the projects were to be implemented on BOT basis.
“But if the BMC would have to invest in these projects the cost for the same would go beyond Rs 20-22 per 1,000 litres,” said a civic official, on condition of anonymity. “The estimated cost of these projects has not been worked out yet. We will soon appoint a consultant to study the projects,” said Rahul Shewale chairman of the civic standing committee.
He added that the BOT period would be for 25-30 years.