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Mumbai: To curb Mithi floods, flow from Vihar lake to be diverted for use | Mumbai News – Times of India


MUMBAI: Excess water from the BMC-owned Vihar Lake may soon be diverted to the Bhandup filtration plant. A project has been planned to divert extra water from the lake instead of letting it flow into Mithi river, which in turn floods pockets of the city on heavy rains days. The project is in the tendering stages with civic officials hoping for work to commence soon.
When the Mithi overflows, it impacts areas like Kranti Nagar in Kurla, segments of BKC, and even Saki Naka in Andheri (East), causing widespread flooding. It even floods railway tracks in Kurla and Sion. Measures like building retaining walls along the 18km river have been insufficient during heavy rain days.
Civic hydraulic engineer P Malwade said, “Once the bid evaluation process concludes, we will proceed with issuing a work order. Construction for laying a water transport connection from the lake to the filtration plant will take 1.5 years. It’s worth noting that it won’t involve capturing a substantial volume of water, given that Vihar is one of the smaller lakes contributing to the city’s water supply.” Along with Tulsi, also a small lake, Vihar provides only about 2% of Mumbai’s water supply.

Officials from the civic hydraulic department said the diverted water would be treated within the 300-acre Bhandup filtration plant, and given to the city for use. Mumbai has two filtration plants, at Bhandup and at Panjrapur in Thane district. Around 1,365 million litres of water, received via Bhatsa dam, is treated at the Panjrapur plant, while the rest is treated at the Bhandup plant.
Advocate and activist Godfrey Pimenta said “the proactive step” by the BMC to ensure that flooding is controlled is a welcome move. “This kind of a project should be replicated in all our lakes so that excess water does not get wasted and instead can be used for the city, whose water needs have been increasing,” said Pimenta.
But some activists remained skeptical about the proposed plans. Stalin D, director of the NGO Vanashakti, said, “Rather than seeking ways to revitalize the Mithi, this initiative seems geared towards diverting water that naturally belongs to it. A vibrant Mithi plays a vital role in recharging groundwater. This appears to be an effort to safeguard encroachments that have proliferated along the riverbank, which authorities have struggled to address for many years.”



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