The Middle Vaitarna Dam project,which was to be completed by March this year,will be delayed and the project is expected to get over only after the end of this monsoon. Had the project been complete as per schedule,Mumbai would have received an additional water supply of 455 million litres daily (mld). However,given the delay,the supply from the dam will be only 60-70 per cent of this figure.
So far,70 per cent of the work on the dam is complete. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials are hopeful of completing major work by monsoon and the rest in October. An engineer from the water supply projects department of the BMC said that while laying of pipelines from the Middle Vaitarna dam site to the Bhandup water treatment plant and reservoir in the city is over,work on building the dam spread over 684 hectares is behind schedule. The dam will be located on the Vaitarna river in between the Upper Vaitarna and Modaksagar dams. It will help store excess rainwater that otherwise runs off into the sea.
We hope to finish constructing the dam by end of May this year so that rainwater can get stored during this monsoon. However,since few works will have to be put off till October,the dam will be able to store about 60-70 per cent of its total capacity during this monsoon. We expected work to be completed by now but due to some difficulties we faced,it is delayed, he said.
A delay by the Public Works Department (PWD) in constructing a bridge was said to have affected the dam construction last year and work was stalled for a few months. The bridge construction across the Vaitarna river undertaken by the PWD to connect areas such as Shahapur,Mokhada and Jawhar districts,too,was behind schedule.
More than Rs 1,035 crore has been spent on the project so far. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA),the nodal agency appointed under the Jawahrlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) to keep a tab on projects in Maharashtra,sends monthly progress reports of these projects. However,officials are sceptical as the project was originally supposed to get completed by 2002.