Mumbai’s water woes could soon get a permanent fix, as the Union water resources ministry on Wednesday gave its nod to the Damanganga-Pinjal river linking project.
The project will bring 2,450 million litres of water a day to Mumbai – a boost for a city where water supply requirements are expected to reach 6,680 million litres a day by 2041.
Union water resources minister Uma Bharati announced the Centre’s approval at a function held at state guest house Sahyadri late on Wednesday.
Bharati tagged it as a national project, making it eligible for 90 % funding from the Centre. The remaining 10% will be shared by the Gujarat and Maharashtra governments. The project is expected to cost around Rs800 crore.
When the rivers are linked, surplus water from the Damanganga river in Gujarat will be diverted to the Pinjal reservoir in the Vaitarna basin. The National Water Development Agency will build two dams across the Damanganga river, on the Maharashtra-Gujarat border. A dam across the Pinjal river in Thane will be constructed by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. Water from both reservoirs will be linked through a 26km tunnel.
“The Damanganga-Pinjal river linking project was cleared in a meeting held in Delhi on Tuesday. Union minister Uma Bharati is in the city to make a formal announcement. The detailed project report has been screened and cleared. It will get 90 % funding from the Centre,” said state water resources minister Girish Mahajan.
The feasibility report of the river linking project was drafted a decade ago, in 2004. In 2010, a tripartite agreement was signed between the Centre and the two state governments.