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BMC Approves Four Proposals for the Cleaning and Rejuvenation of Mithi River

BMC Approves Four Proposals for the Cleaning and Rejuvenation of Mithi River

As part of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) ‘Mithi River Rejuvenation’ plan, the civic body will soon start the cleaning of the Mithi River. This project will be undertaken at a cost of ₹569.52 crores. Under this plan, officials will also conduct deepening and widening works at the river. 

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The BMC standing committee cleared four proposals pertaining to the project on November 25. As per the proposals, the sewer lines will be placed along the river to make sure the sewage doesn’t get into the water. Further, the flow will be controlled via the deepening and widening of the river while the authorities will also construct a concrete protection wall and a service road. 

Officials said that project works will take place between the Airport Taxiway Bridge in Kurla, Ashok Nagar in Andheri, MTNL Junction at Bandra-Kurla Complex, and Filter Pada near the Powai stretch of the river. 

Experts have noted the deteriorating quality of water at Mithi river since the past few years as slums and industries have been established along the river banks. These establishments discharge sewage and industrial waste directly into the river. A survey conducted in 2019 found that the fecal coliform bacteria in the river was up to 15 times higher than the permissible limit. 

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It is worth mentioning that all four companies that received the contract quoted a larger amount than the BMC’s original estimates. This is uncharacteristic for such projects as project bidders usually quote a price lower than the civic body’s estimates. Officials said that the BMC is paying anywhere between 17 to 22% higher than the estimates prepared by the civic stormwater department. 

BMC has justified the increased cost stating the tough conditions at the project site. “There are slums on the river bank where work of deepening will take place. Due to slums, there is no space to keep rocks that are removed from the river bed. The contractor will have to deploy machines daily to transport these rocks to the designated dumping place and also construct an approach road to reach the site. Further, encroachment could delay the work,” an official said.

Separately, the Maharastra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has been levying a fine of Rs 10 lakhs per month on the BMC for not setting up a time-oriented plan for the rejuvenation of Mithi River. 

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