Written by Sanjana Bhalerao
THE UNION Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has given a go ahead to the city’s largest sewage treatment plant (STP), worth Rs 2,020 crore, to come up in Malad. The STP will come up on 35 hectares of mangrove land.
The Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) notification stipulates re-plantation of three times the number of mangroves trees proposed to be cut or destroyed due to construction.
However, the STP, a part of the BMC’s Mumbai Sewage Disposal Project II, still needs approval from the state forest department for re-plantation of the mangroves. At present, the BMC has received clearance for re-plantation on 24 hectares between Malad to Thane creek. “For the remaining 11 hectares, the civic body has suggested a land parcel in Bhiwandi, which is awaiting approval,” said an official.
The tendering process for the Malad STP is also awaiting the approval from the forest department.
Earlier this year, the ministry had ordered that instead of three times, mangroves be replanted five times the number of trees proposed to be cut. The BMC had contested this and called it a clerical and typo-logical error on the part of the ministry. “The ministry had then amended the minutes of the meeting and gave approval as per the CRZ notification in September,” said the civic official.
BMC officials said the transplantation exercise will cost them Rs 10 to Rs 11 crore, which it will pay to the forest department.
Overall, it will take four years for the Malad STP to be constructed. If the plant, which is one of the seven planned goes through, it will treat 1,500 million litres of untreated water that directly flows into the sea. Malad STP is the last of seven STPs awaiting approval.
According to BMC, the city generates about 2,100 million litres of sewage daily. The waste water is proposed to be collected from the wards of K east (Andheri east), K west (Andheri west), P/N (Malad), P/S (Goregaon), and R/N (Dahisar).