No infrastructure to make STP water potable: Civic chief
CBD BELAPUR: For years, the ruling Nationalist Congress Party(NCP) led by former minister Ganesh Naik has been telling the city that the recycled water generated from the city’s state of the art Sewage Treatment Plants (STP) is of almost potable quality and will be used for the city’s benefit and even exploited commercially.
The opposition has regularly lambasted it for the delay in implementing the project claiming it has always only been an election gimmick.
According to the municipal commissioner Dinesh Waghmare, the city still does not have the infrastructure to make it potable or even distribute it. The cost to do so works out to Rs1,700 crore, which the civic body cannot afford.
Speaking on the issue, Waghmare said, “There have been STPs in the city since 1994 with more added later on. We have never used the water recycled by them. Just a little has been used for the NRI colony since recently.”
Waghmare said, “The water is not potable. To make it potable, we need tertiary treatment in the plant. Such a system in each plant will cost Rs80 crore and since we have 6 STPs, the total cost will be Rs480 crore.”
He added, “There is no distribution network either to supply the STP water to various areas of the city. No lines have been laid barring the NRI pipeline. All water is drained into the creek.”
“It will cost around Rs200 crore for every node. For the 6 nodes, the cost will be a whopping Rs 1200 crore,” added Waghmare.
Waghmare said, “Even if we go for such heavy capital investment, the people will not be comfortable using the water as it comes from the STP, there is a psychological issue. Hence we have no plans for such an investment.”
Waghmare also added that there is no storage facility either at the city gardens to use the STP water there immediately.
Around 15MLD of water is released in the gardens everyday by the civic personnel, denying the residents that much fresh water. In contrast, 180MLD of treated water from the sewage treatment plants of the city, which can be used in the gardens is released in the creek every day.
Navi Mumbai is facing a grave water crisis. Morbe dam is reported to have stock of water that will last only till March.
To ensure that the water lasts till June, NMMC had initiated a 25% water cut in the city.