The Chandigarh municipal corporation treats 30 MGD waste water and then releases 24 million gallon daily (MGD) of it into the drain as the demand for the tertiary water in the city is only 6 MGD! This way, the civic body is wasting public money to the tune of Rs 1 crore per year by operating three treatment plants of 10 MGD — two at Diggian in SAS Nagar and one at 3 BRD.
As per the records, in 2013, pumping machinery at the Diggian plant was upgraded by spending more than Rs 3 crore, whereas pumping capacity at 3 BRD plant was increased three months back.
Nominated councillor Surinder Bahga questioned that why the public money was being wasted on increasing pumping capacity to supply tertiary water when the demand for it in the city was 6 MGD only? “Why did the MC waste Rs 3 crore on upgrading pumping capacity at the Diggian plant, when the proposal for pumping was more viable and economical at 3 BRD. We need to fix the responsibility for lapses leading to wastage of public money,” he said.
MC chief engineer Mukesh Anand said, “We have to treat entire affluent to meet the 30 bio-chemical oxygen demand (BOD) standard and discharge it in the choe.”
The fact is that there is no need for three pumping stations of 10 MGD each when demand is for 6 MGD only.
In April this year, HT in several reports highlighted how MC had finally admitted that it squandered Rs 2.5 crore on some operation and maintenance works of the sewage treatment plant (STP) at Diggian, SAS Nagar. In a reply to the Punjab and Haryana High Court recently, the public health department of the MC admitted that a Punebased company that was allotted the contract in 2007 for the operation and maintenance of the STP was supposed to look after the plant for 10 years. However, the officers at STP continued to invite tenders for some of the works, which, as per the terms and conditions of the contract, were to be done by the contractor.
FEW TAKERS FOR TERTIARY WATER
Despite spending Rs 15 crore on a project to supply tertiary treated water to houses measuring one kanal and above, the municipal corporation has only 500 such connections. The civic body earns only Rs 40 lakh from tertiary water connections.