Mumbai Local

MoEF nod to augment sewage treatment plant at Malad

The city’s western coastline, which now bears the brunt of 2,000 million litres per day (MLD) of untreated sewage, is expected to get some relief with the Union Ministry of Environment giving a green clearance to augment the existing sewage treatment plant at Malad.

The Malad plant is permitted by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) to release nearly 120 MLD of semi-treated (preliminary treatment) waste water into the Malad creek. The augmentation plan submitted by the BMC under the Mumbai Sewage Disposal Project (MSDP)-II had been awaiting the MoEF nod for long. The plan was earlier rejected by the Expert Appraisal Committee on the grounds that it violated the coastal regulation zone rules.

The MoEF nod was issued on April 25 in the form of a notification allowing construction of treatment plants in CRZ-1 on condition that three times the number of mangroves destroyed during construction shall be replanted. However, municipal officials said they would appeal to the MoEF to relax the condition of re-plantation to that of two times. The MSDP-II is meant to augment seven existing plants — Colaba, Worli, Bandra, Versova, Malad, Bhandup and Ghatkopar — which discharge 1,992 MLD of semi-treated waster water. The BMC needs an additional 86 acres which fall within the CRZ-1 to augment the Malad facility. Following augmentation, the plant is likely to fully treat 847 MLD of waster water every day, and release it through a 10.8-km tunnel into the sea.

The corporation has been dragging its feet on implementing the Centre-funded Rs 14,000-crore MSDP project and despite strictures from court and the MPCB, it has been unable to augment its treatment capacity.

At present, most of the plants have preliminary treatment facilities in the range of 20:30 biochemical oxygen demand (BOD)/suspended solid (SS) ratio, which means a preliminary treatment with marginal effect on prescribed standards of BOD and SS. The ideal standard would be a 100:100 BOD/SS, and 100 CFU (coliform forming units) per 100 ml of water. This CFU level is currently at 5,000 for 100 ml at most of the plants.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 10:07:36 AM |

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