Mumbai: BMC plans underground water pipeline from Chembur to Trombay

The BMC has planned a 5.6 km underground tunnel for setting up a water pipeline from Chembur to Trombay, as part of its attempt to do away with the decades-old pipelines in the city that are prone to bursting.

This is what happens when one of the city’s decades-old pipelines becomes a gusher. That’s why the BMC is planning to take the underground route for a few arterial pipelines. File picThis is what happens when one of the city’s decades-old pipelines becomes a gusher. That’s why the BMC is planning to take the underground route for a few arterial pipelines. File pic

But since the pipeline will go under Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) land, the civic body will have to procure the research entity’s permission before work is started. Once they get the nod, it will take almost 52 months for the project to be completed.

The civic body has hundreds of kilometres of water pipeline network in the city. Most of these pipelines are above the surface, since that method is easier and cheaper. But with time, every inch of land has become precious and with growing traffic, encroachment and environmental concerns, the civic body has started laying a network of underground water pipelines.

The first such initiative was the construction of two underground pipelines — one from Malabar Hill to Cross Maidan and the other which runs from Veravali Reservoir up to Yari Road. Besides, the BMC recently moved a proposal for another underground tunnel running from Chembur-Wadala and Wadala-Parel at a cost of Rs 450 crore.

It is in the planning stage and will take about six years to be complete. As the next part of this underground tunnel project, the civic body has proposed laying of a 5.6 km tunnel from Chembur to Trombay, which will hold a pipeline coming from Bhatsa lake, said deputy municipal commissioner (special engineering) Ramesh Bamble.

The diameter of the pipeline will be three metres. A large number of people staying in the M/West and M/East wards will benefit from this project because the existing pipelines here are old and rusted. The total cost of the project is more than Rs 260 crore.

But since about one kilometre of the pipeline will pass from under BARC, the BMC requires permission from the research centre. They believe that if things go smoothly, they could get permissions in a month. Once that is done, construction will start in a year and will take more than four years to be completed.

Also, the civic body has not taken a decision on what is to be done with the existing pipelines. They are mulling over keeping them in case the underground tunnel is shut for maintenance.

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