180 mld of treated water thrown into sea
Around 200 mld water treated in sewage treatment plants, but less than 1% being supplied to residents
At a time when the entire city of Navi Mumbai is reeling under severe water crisis, Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) is throwing over 180 mld treated water into the sea.
As of now, they are treating around 200 mld water in its sewage treatment plants. However, less than 1% of this water is being supplied to the residents for gardening and cleaning purposes. Remaining water is being released to the sea due to lack of infrastructure.
Separate pipelines are necessary for distributing the treated water to the residents. However, the city of Navi Mumbai hardly has such pipelines and hence 99% of this water is getting wasted every day.
Worse, NMMC has not finalised any concrete plan to alleviate the water crisis by utilizing maximum treated water.
Dinesh Waghmare, municipal commissioner of NMMC said, “There was a proposal of installing such pipelines (starting from Kopar Khairane to other areas) spending around Rs250 crore under the smart city plan. Since Navi Mumbai is now not in the first phase of smart city plan, we can’t say whether that will be implemented or not.”
“Installing such pipelines on public-private partnership is also not a practical idea as people hardly show interest to purchase treated water which is not potable. Therefore we are still discussing the matter and may ask for fund from government to execute this project which has become a need of hours,” he added.
When asked why NMMC did not plan anything about it earlier he said, “Till last year we received good rainfall and had water surplus. Therefore utilization of treated water was not so important as it has become now. Since a huge budget was also involved with this, there was no haste to execute such a plan.”
Less than 20 mld treated water is now being used for gardening, cleaning vehicles and public places and similar activities at few places of the city.
NMMC had plans to sell the treated water to the industrial units and cold storages in the city. But that is not happening as of now.
“Discussions are going on with the different authorities to sell this water. But we are not getting very good response from them,” another official from water supply department said.
“We cannot approach anyone with the proposal of buying treated water. Other municipal councils and gram panchayats are not interested for this as they are not in need of such water,” he added.
“A huge amount of water is required for cleaning and flushing in every household. Had NMMC planned to utilise the treated water earlier, the water crisis would not have been so severe today,” said Hemant Sharma, 45, a resident of Vashi.