The lake levels are dipping, and the city’s water situation looks grim this year. But there’s some good news.
The Centre has sanctioned the third instalment of Rs 116 crore for the municipal corporation’s ambitious Middle Vaitarna project under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.
The Rs 1,600-crore Middle Vaitarna Water Supply Project will help bring an additional 455 million litres daily (MLD) to Mumbai.
“The amount sanctioned on Tuesday will be used to speed up the construction of the dam,” said Additional Municipal Commissioner (projects), Anil Diggikar. “Currently, the money has gone to the state, it will reach us shortly.”
The Centre grant will cover 35 per cent of the total cost of the project, the state government will contribute towards 15 per cent and the BMC will raise the remaining 50 per cent.
The Rs 116-crore is the Centre’s second-last instalment for the project — the last instalment will be sanctioned in six months after reviewing the progress.
“Till date, over Rs 750 crore has been spent [on the project] and we will meet our March 2012 deadline,” said Diggikar.
Setting up the Middle Vaitarna dam for additional water supply was first proposed by the municipal corporation in the late 1990s. However, the corporation took a decade to approve the project and get permission from the central environment ministry.
Currently, 70 per cent of the tunnel work as been completed from Middle Vaitarna to Vaitarna dam — 3 per cent work on the dam has been completed and 60 per cent work on the distribution pipeline network has been completed.
Building the underground tunnel is likely to cost Rs 150 crore, while the dam will cost Rs 490 crore. The distribution pipeline network will be constructed at a cost of Rs 650 crore.