The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has claimed that the construction of Middle Vaitarana dam has been completed in a record time of less than three years. But the project took five years to get started, after environment clearance from the Centre came through in 2004.
An environmental clearance was needed as the civic body had to cut around 1.75 lakh trees to begin the construction. In 2004, erstwhile mayor Mahadev Deole managed to secure eco-clearance for the project.
“The environmental clearance was the main hurdle. We engaged in a heavy exchange of letters with the Centre,” Deole said on Thursday.
“We planted around two lakh trees in Beed district as compensation.”
However, it took a full five years for the project to commence.
On August 18, 2009, the then union urban development minister Jaipal Reddy laid the foundation stone for the project. The cost of the project also escalated from the initial estimate of around Rs. 1,500 crore to Rs. 2,600 crore.
On Thursday, the BMC claimed that it is the ninth fastest Roller Compacted Concrete (RCC) dam to be built in the world. BMC also claimed that the special technique of RCC used in the construction has cut the construction period by two years.
Additional municipal commissioner (projects) Rajiv Jalota said that since the construction began, there weren’t too many delays. The project was delayed for merely two to three months during the monsoon last year.
“Otherwise, we maintained a good pace and have finished the project before the September deadline,” he said.
The Middle Vaitarna dam is one of the most crucial projects for Mumbai in recent years, as it will supply 455 million litres of water per day.
This will reduce the shortfall of 1,100 million litres per day that the city currently faces. Supply of water from the Middle Vaitarna dam is expected to start by August end, which will then leave city around 600 million litres per day short of its actual need.