After almost a decade since announcement of the project, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) finally started excavation for an underground water tunnel that will run between Chembur and Trombay areas in the Eastern suburbs.
The tunnel will originate underneath the Amar Mahal Park at Chembur and will be extended till the Trombay low reservoir and Trombay high reservoir. The tunnel will be around 5.75 km long and 2.5 metre wide and after completion, it will help boost the water supply speed in the M West and M East wards of the eastern suburbs along with few other adjoining low lying areas. Both these wards cover the areas - Chembur, Govandi, Anushakti Nagar, Shivaji Nagar, Cheeta Camp, Deonar, Mankhurd and Tilak Nagar.
Senior civic officials said that the excavation will be carried out in two phases.
"In the first phase we will carry out digging till the Trombay low reservoir and in the second phase the channel will be extended till the Trombay high reservoir, the first phase will take us around 13 months and the second phase would take five more months to complete," Shirish Uchagaonkar, the Chief Engineer of the water supply project, told FPJ.
Construction of the underground tunnel was first proposed during the 2011 annual civic budget since then the project kept getting delayed as the process of acquiring necessary permission and floating tenders took time. Before carrying out construction, the BMC had to procure a no-objection-certificate from the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC).
On Saturday, state Minister of Environment and Guardian Minister of Mumbai Suburbs Aaditya Thackeray along with Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar inaugurated the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) at the Amar Mahal launch site in Chembur.
Uchagaonkar furthermore said, the tunnels are being built for a high pressure water supply system and the ressidents of the low lying areas of entire M east and M west wards will continue to receive uninterrupted high pressure water till 2041.
"The TBM is used for digging these tunnels is completely different from the TBMs that are being used for the coastal road project and metro tunnel works," Uchagaonkar said.
"This is a hard rock TBM and boring will be carried out in situ cast pipel lining system," Uchagaonkar added.