The existing sewage disposal system is 130 years’ old comprising a network of 1,500km of sewage lines and 50 pumping stations.
Mumbai: With BMC failing to make much headway on its Mumbai Sewage Disposal Project (MSDP) apart from kick-starting work on the Colaba sewage treatment plant, water in the Arabian Sea surrounding the city will continue to be polluted.
The existing sewage disposal system is 130 years’ old comprising a network of 1,500km of sewage lines and 50 pumping stations. The civic body supplies 3,750ml water to the city daily, of which 1,700 ml is discharged into the sea as sewage water. Currently, sewage treatment plants only carry out primary treatment of sewage before it is released into the sea. Under MSDP, BMC plans to set up sewerage treatment plants at seven sites including Colaba, Worli, Ghatkopar, Bandra, Versova, Malad and Bhandup. However, due to delay in implementing MSDP, the civic body has failed to achieve expected results in sewage disposal.
A senior civic official said, “Delay in getting environmental clearances was one of the major factors. In addition to that, three tenders for the 37 million litre water capacity Colaba sewage treatment plant were scrapped.” Finally, work on the Colaba plant has been awarded to France-based Degremont Ltd. at a cost of Rs 564 crore. Water collected from Afghan Church, Kitteries Road, Robert Road, Merry Weather Road, NF Road, and other areas in the A ward will be treated at this plant before discharging into the sea through a 1,200 mm outlet.
Damodar Tandel, president of the Akhil Bharatiya Koli Vikas Parishad, lamented the dip in fishing activities owing to polluted seawater. “The entire sea around the city has become a dumping ground, due to which fishing has rapidly reduced. About 30 years ago, there were 10,000 boats, including 3,000 mechanical ones, and nearly four lakh metric tonne of fish was procured from the sea. Now despite there being 24,000 boats, including 14,000 mechanical ones, we are able to procure only 2.5 lakh metric tonne fish,” he rued.