The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) standing committee on Wednesday approved two projects worth around ₹700 crore including setting up of 11 oxygen plants in the city and construction of two tunnels below Mithi river to ensure it does not get clogged.
As per the proposal passed by the standing committee, oxygen plants will come up at 10 locations at a cost of ₹204 crore. This includes locations like Dahisar jumbo centre, BKC jumbo centre.
BMC had earlier awarded the contract for installing oxygen plants at nine locations in the city where 16 plants were installed. During the peak of second wave, city’s oxygen demand was of 235 metric tonnes a day, and considering this figure, BMC has been making arrangements to prepare for a possible third wave.
Further, the ₹500-crore project for constructing two tunnels will help prevent pollution in Mithi river which has been facing sewage discharge and wastewater from industries and slums along its bank.
According to the proposal, construction of a 6.7-km tunnel, from Bapat nullah and Safed Pool nullah up to proposed sewage treatment plant at Dharavi, is expected to be completed in 48 months. While the tunnel from Bapat Nullah will have capacity of 78-million litres of sewage collection, at Safed Pool nullah it can handle 90-million litres of sewage daily. The tunnel will pass from 20 to 25 metres below the ground. Some portions of the tunnel will also pass through mangrove areas for which the project will require environmental clearance.
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has slammed BMC for awarding the oxygen plants contract without making any calculations. Vinod Mishra, standing committee member from BJP, said, “BMC is completely non-transparent on what basis they are coming up with so many oxygen plants. We do need plants, but there are several questions which they need to answer. Such as how many plants are needed and how much oxygen is needed? What is the pressure of oxygen produced by the plant? And will this pressure be useful for ICU patients? We have pointed out mal practices previously in appointing contractor for oxygen plants. BMC should come out clear on it.” Hindustan Times