The city’s beaches and waterfronts will get cleaner over the next few years as the BMC plans to build more plants to treat sewage before releasing it into the sea.
At present, nearly half the 1,700 million litres (MLD) of sewage generated in Mumbai daily is let out into the sea untreated as all the sewers are not linked to the treatment plants.
At several points along the city’s coast, including at Mahim, Dadar and Worli, untreated sewage from slums, small industrial units and residential colonies flows into the sea, raising pollution levels.
In April, work should start on the first of the sewage treatment plants: a 37 million-litres-a-day capacity one at Colaba costing Rs70 crore.
The civic body has received pre-qualification entries from 13 bidders for this plant, which will be the first of eight to be built under the second phase of the Rs5,200-crore Mumbai Sewage Disposal Project (MSDP). It should be up and running in a year.
“This was a long overdue project and we are determined to fast track it. Despite the stringent conditions to qualify, it is encouraging to see 13 firms showing interest in the project,” additional municipal commissioner Rajiv Jalota said.
The city has the capacity to treat all the sewage generated but around 800 MLD is discharged without any treatment because the outlets bypass the treatment plants. The BMC plans to change this.
Besides increasing treatment capacity to 3,200 MLD, it also plans to ensure no sewers flow directly into the sea, bypassing the treatment plants. The whole network is scheduled to be in place by 2017.