Mumbai: City`s civic body willing to spend Rs 13 crore to wash roads


The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is ready to spend Rs 13 crore on washing 600 km of roads daily for four months. The decision was made to reduce air pollution due to dust from roads. 

If the road length increases to 1,000 km, the cost will reach Rs 25 crore.

The BMC has been taking various measures to tackle air pollution, including serving notices to contractors for not adhering to anti-dust norms, removing furnaces, and considering air filters on vehicles. Washing roads is one among these measures.

Road washing in progress at a flyover in Sewri

There are 2,050 km of roads in the city.  Currently, the BMC washes around 250 km to 300 km of roads every day. The BMC has targeted to spray water on around 650 km of roads every day so that every road will be washed every three days. The next target is to spray water on 1,000 km of roads daily to ensure every road is washed every two days. But the cost of doing this is a major consideration.

Ward-level washing

Roads are being washed on ward levels. The Solid Waste Management (SWM) department helped wards with a few tankers. Ward officers have been arranging tankers from private suppliers also.

According to a BMC proposal, the Solid Waste Management department is to provide funds to wards for road-washing

Currently, around 70 to 90 tankers are deployed to spray water on 300 km of roads in the city. Considering this, more than 150 tankers may be needed for 600 km of roads but the BMC has estimated a requirement of only 120 tankers at the cost of R13 crore for four months. As such, the actual cost of washing 600 km of roads may be even higher. Further, 150 tankers will be taken on rent if the BMC sets a target of washing 1,000 km of roads daily.

The wards will get funds from the SWM department to wash roads. A proposal detailing the cost of the work has been sent to BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal for approval. “Considering the roads’ width, length and requirement of tankers, the approximate cost is R13 crore for cleaning 600 km of roads for four months,” said a BMC official. “If the road length increases to 1,000 km per day, the cost will increase to R25 crore. The commissioner is yet to approve the proposal,” the official added.

The quantity of water required to wash the roads is also a concern. The quantity of water varies for each ward from 1,500 litres to 2,500 litres per km. On Sunday, 9,000 litres of water was used to wash 3 km of road in A ward which comprises Fort and Colaba. In S ward (Bhandup), 70,000 litres of water was used for washing 28 km of roads. On Monday, in E ward, which comprises Byculla, 15,000 litres of water was used to wash 4.5 km of roads and in K West (Andheri West, Vile Parle West) one lakh litres of water was used to wash 26 km of roads.

“The wards in south Mumbai are wide with eight to 10 feet wide footpaths on both sides. So they require more water than the small roads in the suburbs. The water is being drawn from borewells and not from sources of potable water. Still, tankers’ capacities are large. The wards are being told to use less water,” said a senior official from the BMC.

Tankers washing around 300 km of road 

Tankers needed to wash approx. 650 km of roads 

Tankers needed to wash approx. 1,000 km of roads 

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