Union Minister Shri Nitin Gadkari has called for formation of a State Water Grid in Maharashtra to overcome the recurring crisis of floods being faced by Mumbai. In a letter written to the Maharashtra Chief Minister Shri Uddhav Thackerey on Wednesday, the Minister reiterated that formation of a State Water Grid would also help the government ensure availability of water in drought prone areas.
“We have experienced that every year Mumbai suffers huge losses due to the floods. Hence, there is an urgent need to prepare an integrated plan to handle flood situation effectively to avoid losses” said Gadkari. The Minister further said that, if systematically planned, flood water, drainage and sewerage can be diverted towards Thane and entire diverted influx can be stored in a dam, after treating this water mid way. This water can be used for irrigation, industries around the city and for supplying water to nearby horticulture belts. Through pipelines, excess water can be carried to other drought prone areas of the state as well. Shri Gadkari also called for setting up of water recycling plants in large residential colonies of Mumbai and its satellite cities as part of sustainable initiative.
The Minister said that the problems of floods, drainage management, sewerage, potable water in Mumbai should be given an integral thought as the issues are interlinked. Shri Gadkari asked the State Government to get a Detailed Project Report prepared by an international consultant under the work coordinated by MMRDA (Mumbai Metropolitan Development Authority) since the problems are not limited to city limits of Mumbai.
Shri Gadkari, who holds the portfolio of Road Transport & Highways, also asked the State Government to take up the project to convert all city roads in Mumbai into cement concrete roads. Stating that the tar roads do not sustain the heavy rains that Mumbai witnesses, the Minister gave the example of Mumbai-Pune Express Highway, built nearly two decades ago, that has stood the test of time. “On the same lines, concrete roads can be constructed in Mumbai along with advanced drainage system to carry sewerage and flood water” he added.
The Minister also asked the Maharashtra Chief Minister to support the water transport initiative and said “the MbPT (Mumbai Port Trust) has already planned for water transport services and a sea tourism that will make Mumbai, along with being the financial capital, the country’s hub for Sea Transport & Tourism”.
Shri Gadkari also sought the support of NCP chief Shri Sharad Pawar, Deputy Chief Minister Shri Ajit Pawar, State PWD Minister Shri Ashok Chavan, Water Resources Minister Shri Jayant Patil and other senior leaders for his proposals.