BMC plans three new dam projects to tackle water crisis

Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has planned three dam projects Gargai, Pinjal and the Daman Ganga interlink project to meet the Mumbai city’s increasing water demand.

At present, city gets water from five dams which are Vihar, Tulsi, Bhatsa, middle Vaitarna and upper Vaitarna. Currently, Mumbai gets 3420 million litres (ML) of water after the 10 per cent water cut. These projects will be added to increase the capacity of water supply and the authorities say they will be able to supply more water on a daily basis.

The Gargai and Pinjal are in the Palghar district, while the Daman Ganga project is situated partially in Nasik and partially in Palghar. As of now, the gap between the demand and supply is 500 ML, which will rise with the increasing population of Mumbai. Around 4.4 ML water from Gargai dam, 8.65 ML from Pinjal and 1586 ML from Daman Ganga will be distributed.

BMC requires clearance from the departments of forest, wildlife, environment and Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MOTA) for the construction, rehabilitation and the re-settlement of the affected villagers. “We will spend Rs 54 crore on the rehabilitation of villagers, who will be affected by the Gargai project. Rs 246 crore will be spent for the other. A consolidated plan has been submitted to the Palghar collector for approval.

The dams will submerge the surrounding areas, including 750 hectares of the Tansa wildlife sanctuary,” said an official. The estimated cost for the Gargai project is said to be Rs 1820 crore and for the Daman Ganga, the estimate is Rs 2750 crore. DPR for the Pinjal dam project is not yet conducted.

The Gargai project is expected to start in the current financial year. Besides, a Daman Ganga-Pinjal river link project will be executed by the Maharashtra government along with Gujarat.  Every year, the BMC makes a provision for the three project in its annual budget, but the projects have been moving at a snail’s pace.

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