Without holding any debate on the project for setting up of a R 35-crore sewage treatment plant (STP) at Maloya, the municipal corporation of Chandigarh gave its approval to the controversial project in the House meeting on Tuesday.
The 5 MGD (million gallon daily) project was placed in the House in June last year, but it was deferred on the issue of technology to be used at the plant and a seven-member committee was formed to suggest measures, which failed to submit a report even after 11 months.
Interestingly, in the meeting held in June last year, mayor Subhash Chawla, who was then a councillor, had suggested that a committee should be formed to study different technologies and to arrange a study tour to places where plants with different technologies were being run. He had also proposed that comparison between both technologies should be studied before an agenda was passed.
For the past 11 months, the seven-member panel had not even visited a single treatment plant in the region. Mayor Subhash Chawla had even disbanded the committee three weeks ago.
BJP councillor Saurabh Joshi said, “The opposition councillors have already given their dissent to the project as we questioned over the use of one technology, when hundreds of options are available?”
However, the project was approved as the Congress had majority in House, he added.
In the House meeting held on June 19, Joshi suggested the House that instead of spending Rs 35 crore on a project, effluents could be lifted by way of pumping, which would be economical and the corporation would save nearly Rs 25 crore.
Same technology over and over again
In June last year, the HT had highlighted how the MC used same sequencing-based reactor (SBR) technology at different STPs. The House finally decided to defer the agenda and a seven-member committee was formed under the chairmanship of Congress councillor Mukesh Bassi to conduct a study tour to places where different types of technologies were being used for the STP. After the committee's report, the House was supposed to decide on technology suitable for the Maloya STP. The committee, however, had not visited any of the plants in the past 11 months.
Superintending engineer, public health department of MC, RC Diwan said, “Since the project has been approved in the House, I am no one to comment on the issue.”
To treat effluents from colonies and villages located in the vicinity of Patiala ki Rao, including colonies of Khuda Lahora, Maloya, Madrasi and Dhanas and villages of Khuda Jassu, Sarangpur, Dhanas, Dadumajra and Maloya, the MC has decided to construct 5MGD STP at a cost of Rs 35 crore and to channel it into the N-choe.