The state government has decided to hand over the construction of Gargai and Pinjal dams, which are to provide water to Mumbai, and the maintenance of the Eastern and Western Express highways to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). The decision will benefit Mumbai, civic officials said.
The directives were given by deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar on Monday at a meeting held in Mantralaya. “The two dams will be important for Mumbai, considering its future needs for drinking water. The civic body should take the initiative to build these dams,” Pawar said at the meeting, which was attended by senior BMC officers, including civic chief Sitaram Kunte.
Both dams are to be built in Thane district. Gargai dam will yield 450 million litres per day, while Pinjal will yield 859 million litres per day. Work on the dams is expected to start in 2014.
The government also asked the BMC to take over the maintenance of the two city highways from the public works department (PWD). Both highways are currently in bad shape because of potholes. Civic officials are happy with Pawar’s decisions. Rajiv Jalota, additional municipal commissioner, said the BMC is glad that the work of diverting water from Damanganga river to Gargai and Pinjal dams has been given to it. “Both these projects are useful for Mumbaikars and we always wanted to do the work on our own.”
Aseem Gupta, additional municipal commissioner, said handing over the reins to the BMC would benefit commuters. “It becomes difficult to communicate with other agencies about the maintenance of roads. If a single agency is given the job, there can be uniformity in work,” Gupta said.
Once the BMC receives the order, its officials will hold a meeting with PWD officials and decide on what needs to be done.