After the state government approved funds for the Gargai-Pinjal dam project,BMC has proposed a biodiversity study of the area along which the dam will be constructed. A tributary of the Pinjal river,Gargai is in Ogade,120 km from Mumbai,and runs through a thick forest,while its another significant part is in the buffer zone of Tansa Wildlife Reserve.
The current water demand in Mumbai is 4,250 mld and the supply 3,400 mld. The Pinjal dam is expected to provide 2,400 million litres daily,of which BMC will supply 865 million litres daily to the city. The Gargai dam project is expected to bring another 450 million litres to the city.
Due to the vast forest cover,we will have to carry out deforestation on a large scale for building the dam and it will require ministry of environment and forest go-ahead. Acquiring mandatory environmental clearances in time may be tough. If the paperwork is delayed the project will also get delayed. This additional report will help, said an official.
Skipping the tender procedure,BMC has narrowed down on Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) to carry out the work.
The corporation plans to conduct the biodiversity study at roughly Rs 85 crore in addition to the environmental impact assessment (EIA) report.
We have selected BNHS for the study. The organisation is not only a member of National Board of Wildlife (NBW) but also one of the oldest with an expertise in bio-conservation, said a senior official in the water supply projects department.
Feasibility and EIA studies for both projects are in progress,after which a final clearance from the Union ministry of environment and forests will be sought. NBW gave the green signal for a geo-technical survey at the Gargai dam site in March.
Construction of the dams,as part of the Damanganga-Pinjal river link project,is expected to begin in 2015.