Infrastructure in Mumbai
June 1, 2007
By Alan R. Perks, P.Eng.
Mumbai, India, 20 degrees north of the Equator on the Arabian Sea, is a city with a rapidly growing population coupled with double-digit economic growth. It has half the population of Canada in an are...
Mumbai, India, 20 degrees north of the Equator on the Arabian Sea, is a city with a rapidly growing population coupled with double-digit economic growth. It has half the population of Canada in an area the size of the city of Toronto.
The pressure on urban infrastructure is immense. Water and sewerage facilities were first built in Mumbai (formerly Bombay) over 100 years ago and have not kept pace with the needs of the 16 million people crowded into about 400 square kilometres (the city was originally made up of seven small islands).
Despite the congestion and deteriorating infrastructure, large investments made over the last 30 years have started to have a positive effect on the quality of life in the city. For example, the beaches are much cleaner and safer now that key sewage outfalls have been extended farther out into the Arabian Sea.
Toronto-based R.V. Anderson Associates, in partnership with Mott MacDonald of the U.K., is embarking on the design and construction of a $350-million program to upgrade Mumbai’s wastewater infrastructure. The infrastructure is based on a 25-year master plan the two firms completed for the city three years ago. Anderson had also earlier provided assistance for improvements to the operation and maintenance of Mumbai’s wastewater system, which was a good foundation for the more recent planning and design work.
The current project includes wastewater treatment facilities, sewage pumping stations, sewer improvements and a new marine outfall to the Arabian Sea. Some of these works will handle almost 2,000 megalitres per day of sewage — flows that are truly immense on any scale.
In a unique juxtaposition, the project will involve treatment facilities designed for Dharavi, the largest slum in Asia with two million inhabitants, and for the upscale neighbourhood of Juhu, which includes Bollywood, home to the Indian film and entertainment industry.
The challenges will be many. Because of the need to “fast track” the project (the design phase is to take place over 12 months), modular designs will be used for primary treatment facilities and pumping station works. This will help to move the design and approval process along as quickly and efficiently as possible.
New technologies will be considered such as sludge management, a serious issue for the densely inhabited city, and wastewater recycling and reuse technologies, in order to relieve an already overburdened water supply.
The construction phase will extend over 48 months. Consideration of the capacity and capabilities of the local construction industry will be a critical factor in planning the work.
In addition, a large contingent of municipal staff is to be seconded to the project for construction supervision purposes.
Project: Bombay Sewage Disposal Project, State II
Client: Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai
Sewage treatment plants and pumping stations: R.V. Anderson Associates, Toronto (Alan R. Perks, P.Eng., Sanjay Devnani, P.E.)
Sewers, lagoons and marine outfall: Mott MacDonald, U.K.