For nearly 14 lakh folks in Vasai and Virar, the days of worrying about water are fading away. Not long ago, some of these residents only got water for a few hours or once every eight days. But now, things have taken a turn for the better, all thanks to the Surya Regional Water Supply Scheme (SRWSS).

This project kicked off back in 2016 with a goal to tackle the water needs of the booming population in the MMR (Mumbai Metropolitan Region). And guess what? The first phase is done, bringing joy to the twin suburbs. And hey, the good news doesn’t stop there. Once the second phase wraps up, Mira Road and Bhayander will also join the celebration.

So, what’s this SRWSS all about? Well, it’s the brainchild of the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA). The idea is simple: set up a water treatment plant and make sure everyone gets treated water. Under this plan, a whopping 403 million litres per day (MLD) will flow to Mira-Bhayander, Vasai-Virar, and 44 villages nearby.

We got a sneak peek into the treatment plant not too long ago. It’s a slick setup, running smoothly with just about 55-60 staff, including engineers. They’ve got a fancy lab where they check the water quality every hour. And get this – they use snazzy gadgets like a UV VIS spectrophotometer to do the job in minutes, which used to take a couple of days!

But building this dream wasn’t a walk in the park. With land being a precious commodity, engineers had to get creative. They used smart methods like Reactor Clarifiers for water cleaning, saving up space. And you know what else? They hustled hard, using modern tricks to speed up the construction process.

Take Colin Nonis, the project director from Larsen and Toubro (L&T), for example. He knew they had to pull out all the stops to beat the crisis. So, they used cool techniques like pre-cast slabs and slipform erection to shave off precious time. And guess what? It worked like a charm!

But hold your horses, folks! While Vasai and Virar are basking in their water glory, Mira Bhayander is gearing up for its turn. Phase two is on the horizon, aiming to serve 16 lakh more people. But it’s not all smooth sailing.

To get water from SRWSS to the Master Balancing Reservoir at Chene Village, MMRDA had to get a little crafty. They dug a 4.6-km water tunnel through the Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary. Now, you might be wondering, how’d they manage that without disturbing the wildlife?

Well, it wasn’t easy. They couldn’t roll in with heavy machinery, so the teams had to start from both ends and work their way in. And get this – they did all their digging by hand, carrying equipment and samples through the forest like champs!

After months of hard graft, the tunnel is finally finished. And soon, Mira Bhayander will be raising a glass of clean, treated water to their lips, just like their neighbors in Vasai and Virar. It’s a tale of triumph over adversity, showing what can be achieved when people come together for a common cause. Cheers to that!