Seven contractors have been finalized by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to work on its ambitious Mumbai Sewage Disposal Project-II (MSDP-II).
The long-delayed project was first planned in 2002 and will be undertaken at a cost of nearly Rs 30,000 crore.
Mumbai’s sewage is collected across seven Sewage Treatment Plants (STP) located at Colaba, Worli, Bandra, Versova, Malad, Ghatkopar and Bhandup.
Only the Colaba plant can treat sewage effectively while others can only perform primary treatment before discharging into the Arabian Sea.
About 25% of the city’s sewage enters water bodies without any treatment. This contributes to high-level pollution in the sea and impacts coastal biodiversity.
Studies have shown that Arabian Sea around the city has very high levels of pollution due to the discharge of sewage as well as industrial waste.
Initial plan was to upgrade the existing STPs but later it was decided to construct new STPs to treat the sewage as per the latest norms set by Central Pollution Control Board.
The Colaba STP has been completed. The remaining six and a new one in Dharavi will be built at an approximate cost of Rs 29,653 crore.
Delay in project
Difficulties in construction, space constraints, change in discharge norms, and political fights have caused delay in execution.
The cost of the project has risen by 5-6 times in the last ten years. Tenders and contracts have been cancelled multiple times due to various factors.
Rise in cost
The cost of the project has increased due to change in design owing to stringent treatment norms.
The Russia-Ukraine war has contributed to rise in prices of all basic construction materials.
Execution of project
The Supreme Court is monitoring the progress of the project after multiple petitions were filed against pollution in Arabian Sea.
The project is likely to be completed in 48-72 months. The contractors will be responsible for operation and maintenance of STPs for the next 15 years.