Mira-Bhayandar: In a welcome respite for around 3,000 tribal families living in 14 hamlets on the fringes of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP), the forest department has finally given clearance for the construction of three Kolhapuri dams (better known as KT weirs) across Chena river nestled in Ghodbunder hills in Kashimira.
A weir is a low dam built across a river to control the flow of water. The effort to end the wastefulness and utilise water by reviving a river was steered by legislator Pratap Sarnaik.
After examining the technical feasibility, geological investigations and a drone-aided topographical survey, the irrigation department tabled a proposal first before the forest department and then the district planning committee, with the latter allotting Rs44 crore for nine such weirs across rivers in Chene and Yeoor.
Mr Sarnaik said, “The project will augment existing water supply of the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation and its Thane counterpart by at least three and four MLD (million litres per day), respectively. It will be a boon for the parched tribal community living in the vicinity. Moreover, the availability of drinking water will deter wild animals from straying out into human habitations.”
Unlike the normal check dams, construction of KT weirs are not only more economical and faster, they can also store additional amounts apart from helping recharge the ground water table. They also help restore the natural ecosystem of a river. As against the requirement of over 225 MLD, the twin-city has an allotted supply of 221 MLD provided jointly by the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC; 135 MLD) and Shahad Temghar (STEM) water supply authority (86 MLD). However, the actual supply continues to hover below 200 MLD due to a shortfall owing to leakages, unaccounted supply and theft. The weirs across Chena river will be the first independent source of water for the MBMC.
3,000 tribal families live in 14 hamlets
Area: Fringes of Sanjay Gandhi National Park
Kolhapuri dams also called KT weirs
Location: Across Chena river nestled in Ghodbunder hills in Kashimira
Rs44 cr for nine weirs
What is a Weir?
A low dam built across a river to control the flow of water
How it helps
Will help revive Chena river
Augment water supply in MBMC by 3MLD (million litres per day)
Thane by 4MLD
Availability of drinking water will deter wild animals from straying out into human habitations
KT weirs economical and faster
Can store additional water and help recharge ground water table
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