In a blow to the municipal corporation, the union ministry of urban development has dumped a Rs 193-crore project for replacing sewerage pipeline network's brick sewers with reinforced cement concrete (RCC) as the former has failed to re-submit the project in time after complying with certain issue raised by the latter.
Two years back, the MC had proposed that main part of the sewerage system, which was laid during 1950s to 1970s in sectors with stoneware pipes for the main sewers and brick lining with cement mortar needs to replaced and augmented with RCC NP-3 pipes with chemical resistant lining, as with the passage of time and due to chemical effect of sewer gases, brick mortar has outlived its life.
Speaking to HT, M Dhinadhyalan, deputy adviser, public health engineering and environment, ministry of urban development, said, "Now, the project cannot be considered under the existing scheme of Jawahar Lal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), which has been closed in March. The MC failed to re-submit the project report in time after attending to observations made by the ministry."
Dhinadhyalan said, "We might consider the project if the Centre launches a new scheme, which might take even a year. Though the MC had submitted the project two years ago, we had raised certain objections. It was sent back twice to clarify certain issues in connection with design and population projected in the report. Till date, we have not heard from the MC," he said.
In February 2010, the MC in its general house meeting approved the detailed project report for the Rs 112-crore project under the JNNURM. The cost was later revised to Rs 193 crore. As the project is likely to be delayed, the cost may be enhanced up to Rs 225 crore.
Raising the objections, the union ministry of urban development said the project has been over-designed and 20% of the project cost would be saved, if design is made appropriate.
The MC has designed the scheme for a projected population of 30 lakh. Taking into account the growth rate in population, the increase will be only 1.5 lakh from 2001-2011. For the next 30 years, it will not be more than 16 lakh.
Nominated councillor Anoop Sunny Gill said it is very unfortunate that owing to the lethargic attitude of the public health department officials, the project is hanging fire for two years and its cost has increased. "We will take up the issue with the officials concerned," he said.
The project was to be completed in two phases. In the first phase, main sewer was to be laid along Shanti Path, Vikas Marg, Bapu Dham to 3 BRD, and in second phase, from Sector 31 to sewerage treatment plant, Diggian at Phase-11, SAS Nagar. The MC proposed that due to gases in sewerage system, circular brick drain laid with cement mortar has outlived its life and needs to be replaced.
MC commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh said, "We have now approached IIT Delhi for clearance of design. After getting clearance, the project will be sent again to the ministry of urban development for inclusion in some other scheme."