Two tunnels planned to reduce water woes in south and central Mumbai

Construction of the tunnels, which will cost Rs1,000 crore, is likely to take about five years.

mumbai Updated: May 21, 2018 10:21 IST
Eeshanpriya MS
Eeshanpriya MS
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,BMC,water
The tunnels will augment water supply, prevent pipeline encroachment, theft of water and leakage.

Two tunnels planned by the civic body may augment the water supply to south and central Mumbai by reducing the water woes in the area. The tunnels, costing Rs1,000 crore, will augment water supply, prevent pipeline encroachment, theft of water, leakage, and do away with the old network of pipelines above ground level.

Six years after they were first planned, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has taken up construction of two water tunnels meant to increase drinking water supply for areas of central and south Mumbai. The Ghatkopar-Wadala-Parel tunnel, which is 9.7 kilometres in length, estimated to cost about Rs600 crore, and the 5km-long Ghatkopar-Trombay tunnel is estimated to cost about Rs400 crore.

When the tunnels were first proposed as a long-term measure to augment the water supply, it was set to cost BMC Rs500 crore. Over the past six years, the cost has escalated to twice the original estimation.

At present, BMC has received bids for the construction of these tunnels, and will soon shortlist the lowest bidder. It floated two separate tenders for each of the tunnels. A proposal will then be tabled before the standing committee for its approval.

A senior civic official involved in the project said, “At present the tenders have permitted ‘open technology’. (This means that) as newer technology comes up in the market, the latest one will be used at the time of construction. This also means that our estimated cost may vary, but only slightly, at the time of construction.”

“The bidders have proposed the technology they will use, and we will decide which is the best one. We have to keep in mind the lowest bidder, as well as the best technology,” the official said.

Construction of the tunnels is likely to take about five years. They will replace existing water pipelines, but BMC will maintain the existing pipelines as alternative ways to supply water if the new tunnels undergo repair at any point.

First Published: May 21, 2018 10:21 IST