BMC to construct tunnel to improve water supply to central Mumbai

It will improve the supply between Chembur and Parel; the first phase will be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 480 cr

The rains have not been as expected in Mumbai. Under duress, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has been talking of water cuts due to increasing demand. Amidst this, to help improve water supply in the future, the civic body will construct a new water tunnel that will carry water from the eastern suburbs to central Mumbai.

The BMC has asked the BEST for a plot at Pratiksha Nagar depot for the tunnel. File picture for representation
The BMC has asked the BEST for a plot at Pratiksha Nagar depot for the tunnel. File picture for representation

Sources said that the new water tunnel has been planned between Chembur (Amar Mahal) and Wadala in the first phase, that would be later extended to Parel in the next phase. Water tunnels are normally 60-80 metres below the road surface and have huge diameters to supply water throughout the city efficiently.

The first phase will be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 480 crore. The tunnel will improve water supply to areas between Chembur and Parel. “The new water tunnel will improve our distribution network and help provide uninterrupted water supply.

Permissions for its construction have already been granted," said a BMC official. Mumbai has a demand of 4,300 million litres per day (MLD), but gets a supply of 3,750 MLD, therefore the water cuts. It is worse if there is any damage to existing pipelines that are 70-80 years old.

The civic body is also taking land from its sister concern, the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) for the tunnel. “The BMC has asked for 600 sq. metres of a plot at Pratiksha Nagar depot permanently for their water tunnel,” said Jagdish Patil, General Manager, BEST Undertaking.

The Undertaking has been asked to provide 4,320 sq. metres at Pratiksha Nagar bus depot, of which 600 sq. metres will be handed over permanently to BMC. “The BMC has asked for a plot at Pratiksha Nagar depot for constructing a shaft and ancillary structures for the water tunnel at a lease of Re 1 annually as rent,” said a BEST official.

The reason given by the BMC for such a miniscule rent is that they have given several such plots to BEST and they should reciprocate the same way. The plot will be on the north-west side of the depot and would be barricaded, so that it doesn't affect the parking and movement of buses. A portion of 3,720 sq. metres would be given back to BEST after 73 months when the work is expected to be completed.

The tunnel
3,750 mld - water supply to Mumbai
4,300 mld - demand
73 months - time taken to complete the tunnel
600 sq metres - permanent plot required at Pratiksha Nagar depot

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