Delayed sewage disposal project in Mumbai sees cost escalate to ₹14,368cr
Delay in upgradation process has affected the plan for distributing treated water to Mumbaiitesmumbai Updated: Mar 04, 2018 00:43 IST
More than 10 years after the project was planned, the Mumbai Sewage Disposal Project (MSDP), in which waste water treatment plants were supposed to be upgraded to provide secondary and tertiary treatments, is yet to successfully start. Significantly, the delay has not only affected the plan for distributing the treated water to the city but also increased the estimated cost of the project from Rs2,300 crore in 2006 to Rs14,368 crore in 2018.
While the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) claims that the Colaba plant is nearing completion, tenders for other plants at Worli, Ghatkopar, Bhandup and Versova have already been floated. The upgradation work is expected to begin at all plants by October this year. The Malad plant is awaiting environmental clearance.
The terms of contract for the Bandra treatment plant includes upgrading existing infrastructure, increasing the diameter of the pipe carrying sewage water and installing new machinery for giving preliminary, secondary and tertiary treatment to sewage water. The Bandra plant is spread across 9.6 hectares of land and will be upgraded to treat 360 million litres of sewage water.
The delay in the upgradation, civic officials say, was caused as they were seeking environmental clearances from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF), and the Central Pollution Control Board on setting up new discharge norms for treated sewage into the sea or any water body.
Currently, seven places — Worli, Ghatkopar, Bhandup, Versova, Colaba, Bandra and Malad, have plants that provide preliminary treatment to sewage. Primary treatment involves segregating floating solid materials and sending them to dumping grounds. Secondary and tertiary treatment will involve separating organic and inorganic materials and other solid particles for recycling the sewage for non-potable use.
A senior civic official said, “There have been several additions of new components and machinery in order to upgrade the plants. We are using advanced technology to ensure the best treatment of sewage water. We received final environmental permissions for six plants only last year. The tenders were floated for five plants in February and the pre-bid is also completed. We have received a satisfactory response from the bidders so far.”
These plants will treat more than 2,800 million litres of sewage daily and will distribute it to government offices, industries and help charge fire hydrants. If everything goes according to the plan, the BMC says it will distribute 1,700 million litres of water for non-potable purposes, treated from these plants, to residential and commercial structures as well, provided there is a demand.
The STPs will also treat sewage water before it is let off into the sea in order to avoid the damage to marine ecology. Currently, around 1,500 million litres of untreated water is disposed into the sea, which is affecting the coastline, said officials.
The civic body is also working on a parallel plan to provide treated water to the city for non-potable purposes. Civic officials said that according to the Development Plan 2034, plots above 20,000 square feet are supposed to treat their sewage water at source and use it for non-potable purposes.