Mumbai: BMC to spend Rs 671 crore to keep Mithi river sewage-free

Feb 12, 2018, 09:40 IST | Laxman Singh

BMC to pump in Rs 671 crore for new sewage collection and treatment facilities, as well as beautification of the Mithi riverbank

Mithi River was so badly choked with garbage and sewage that it led to the 2005 deluge. File pic for representation
Mithi River was so badly choked with garbage and sewage that it led to the 2005 deluge. File pic for representation

After pouring crores of rupees into widening and deepening Mithi River, the BMC will now pump another Rs 671 crore to improve its water quality. Under the wide umbrella of the Mithi River Water Quality Improvement Programme (MRWQIP), the civic body has planned several sub-projects such as beautification of the riverbank, along with installing sewage treatment plants (STP) along the river.

No more sewage
The authorities will also lay down 'interceptors' to stop the flow of sewage into the river. These interceptors are essentially diversions that will lead sewage, litter and other contaminants towards new sewage lines that will be installed near the river. According to civic officials, soon tenders will be invited to construct new 11.35-km sewer lines in the area. These sewage lines will then direct the effluents to the STPs built along the river.

Mithi, which is one of the city's longest rivers at 17 km, came into the public spotlight after the 2005 deluge. After the disaster, the BMC and Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority were tasked with cleaning, deepening and widening the river, which was choked with silt, garbage and sewage. Till now, about R700 crore has been spent on the Mithi River project.

The river passes through Andheri, Kalina, Sakinaka, Kurla, Bandra and then enters Mahim creek. Originating from Vihar lake, the river is a victim of the city's uncontrolled flow of sewage, industrial waste and garbage. There are at least 40 locations from where sewage is discharged into the river without any treatment.

Official speak
Mahesh Thakur, chief engineer (in-charge) of the Mumbai Sewage Disposal Project (MSDP), said, "We are in the process of finalising a contractor for the first phase of the project to stop sewage discharge in Mithi River. If everything goes as per plan, we will be able to start by April-end."

A senior official from the Storm Water Department (SWD) said, "We have completed 95% of the deepening and widening work, because of which the river's carrying capacity has increased three times. The work of removing encroachments is also in progress, and about 80% has been cleared." The official added, "The water quality work will be completed in three phases. The first phase will start from Vihar lake to Powai."

Meanwhile, under the project, 2.8 km of sewage lines will be diverted along the Mithi River, between Marwa Road and Sakinaka pumping station. Also, sewage from Ashok Nagar, Military Road, Bamandaya Pada, Kapadiya Nagar and Kismat Nagar areas of Kurla can be diverted to existing main sewer lines.

40
Spots where sewage is released into the river

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