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Mumbai: BMC’s desalination plant cost doubles in two years

Updated on: 28 October,2023 07:36 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Prajakta Kasale |

Ambitious project may become operational after 4 years; water from plant will be supplied to Kandivli and Borivli

Mumbai: BMC’s desalination plant cost doubles in two years

Tenders for the plant will be floated next month and the project is supposed to be completed within four years. Representation Pic

The estimated cost of the first desalination project for Mumbai has risen from R3,500 crore in 2021 to R8,500 crore in 2023. The tenders will be floated next month and the project is supposed to be completed within four years. The 200 MLD water generated initially through the plant will be supplied to nearby areas of Kandivli and Borivli.

After much dilly-dallying, BMC is in the last stages of inviting tenders for the ambitious project to get potable water from the sea. The plant will be set up at Manori.  “The draft is almost ready and the tender will be floated within a fortnight after getting approval from the higher ups,” said an official from the BMC. 

Currently, the city receives 3,850 MLD water from seven lakes. The desalination project will be of a capacity of 200 MLD (million litres per day) that can be expanded to 400 MLD at a later stage. When the project was initiated in 2021, the estimated cost was Rs 3,500 crore, including Rs 1,600 crore for setting up the facility and Rs 1,900 crore for maintenance of the plant for 20 years. Now the estimated construction cost component of the of 400 MLD plant has increased to Rs 2,066 crore.

Besides the cost of construction, expenses incurred for electricity, maintenance and asset replacement for the next 20 years will be huge. “The electricity charges (for running the plant) will be about Rs 3,600 crore. The overall estimated cost for the initial project will go up to Rs 8,500 crore,” said an official. He added that as the project cost includes infrastructure for 400 MLD, the cost for the expansion will be on the lower side. 

The 200 MLD water from the plant will be conveyed to Mahaveer Nagar shaft and supplied to nearby areas. “Currently, the water comes from the Bhandup filtration plant. Once the desalination plant is operational the water will come from Manori,” said an official.

The desalination project at Manori was initially favoured over the Gargai dam, thereby preventing the axing of four lakh trees in the Tansa Wildlife Sanctuary. The project was on fast track during the MVA government. After the change of guard, the project was put on the backburner. Now the BMC is pursuing both the projects —Gargai dam as well as the desalination project. The tenders for the plant will be floated next month and if everything goes according to the plan the work order will be given by next year and the project is expected to be set up in four years.

200 MLD
Capacity of the plant

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