Mumbai: BMC, Israeli co ink pact for state’s first desalination plant

The plan to set up a water de-salination plant for the city just moved a step further. The BMC has signed a memorandum of understanding with a water technology company in Israel to prepare a detailed project report.

Such a plant makes sea water usable for non-drinking purposes after its salinity is tempered. So, sea water, when processed by the plant, will make it usable for industrial use, gardening and such purposes.

The BMC will set up the state’s first desalination plant at Manori in Malad (west) to help increase Mumbai’s water supply. The project is estimated to cost Rs 1,600 crore and is slated to be operational by 2025.

Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray who was present at the event said that the 200 million litres desalination project is a “revolutionary step” and that it was his “dream for several years”. “There are some countries in the world that have already started using seawater on a large scale by desalinating it. Every technology has a price, but human life is more valuable than that and we all have a responsibility to make drinking water available 24 hours in Mumbai,”said Thackeray.

According to the MoU signed with MS IDE Water Technologies Ltd, whose appointment was cleared by BMC’s standing committee last month, the detailed project report will be ready by May next year. BMC officials said that once work to prepare the report is taken up, various studies for the project — like measurement of tides, waves and currents, analysis of the quality of sea water besides ecology and bio-diversity studies, preparaing coastal regulation zone map and related clearances — will be pursued.

BMC had plans to set up a plant after a severe water crisis in 2009, but it was shelved.

State environment minister Aaditya Thackeray suggested that more such smaller plants be set up along the state’s coastline.

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