Civic officials have expressed concerns about a proposal to use treated water from the highly polluted Patalganga river for drinking purpose.
Environmentalists have also opposed the proposal, which aims at treating and diverting 300 million litres of this water to Bhatsa dam, for meeting the the city’s requirements.
The proposal, put forth by the civic group leaders, was discussed at a meeting called by mayor Shraddha Jadhav. Civic officials were doubtful about the potability of the water even after treatment.
Water from the river is used to feed Tata Hydro Electric Power Station at Khopoli in Raigad. The power plant generates 72-mega watts of electricity, which is supplied to Mumbai.
The Patalganga flows along Rasayani, a small town in Raigad district, which houses many chemical factories. Harmful chemical and effluents discharged by these factories into the river have contaminated the water. A report by the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute said treatment was required for this water.
“This water may not be fit to drink as the river flows beside industrial area. Treatment of water will become expensive,” said an official from the state water department, requesting anonymity. He added that the water might be too acidic to be fit for even non-potable uses such as gardening.
Construction of Tata power station has aggravated the problem, said environmentalists. “The power station partially blocks the river flow, making it incapable of flushing away the effluents discharged by the factories, increasing pollution levels,” said Debi Goenka, Trustee of Conservation Action Trust.
“The civic body should think about re-cycling and re-using water in the city,” said Goenka.