Mumbai: Dam to be built on Dahisar river

Mumbai: The forest department and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) have approved a plan to build a five-foot check dam (a small barrier of rock, gravel bags, sandbags to prevent erosion) in the lower reaches of Dahisar river to store water received during the rains. The move was proposed by citizens aiming to revive the now-polluted river.

The work for the project will supposedly begin from November. The first phase of the project, which will cost around Rs 25 lakh, will be completed in six months, said a forest department official. “The dam will be built by the International Association for Human Values (IAHV), which is a part of the Art of Living Foundation. It will be constructed 750 metres downstream from the boating area of the river, inside the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP),” said the official.

As per the water quality data from the civic body, pollution in the Dahisar river is almost 14 times the safety limit. In the first phase, the check dam with three gates will help store water, regulate the velocity of water flow and slow down the  run-off.

The project has received no-objection certificates (NOCs) from the SGNP and the water supply department of BMC. “It does not pose any threat to the flora and fauna,” said Anwar Ahmed, director and chief conservator of forest, SGNP.

A BMC official from the water supply department said although there is no objection, the gates should remain open from June to September, the monsoon period, to ensure no obstruction in constant water flow. The second phase of the project will include cleaning up of the river in the lower stage and restoring original flora along the banks. The second phase is spread over the next three years and will be funded by private companies.

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