In a setback to Chandigarh municipal corporation, the UT administration has finally scrapped a Rs 196-crore project for replacing brick sewerage with reinforced cement concrete (RCC) in the entire city.
The project was scrapped after the administration reviewed the project and found that it cannot be taken in hand and also that there was no need to spend such a huge amount on the same.
Interestingly, the project was scrapped after IIT Delhi approved its design last week, that too on alleged fake population data provided by Chandigarh MC.
The project, which was proposed two years back, was to be funded under Jawahar Lal Nehru National Urban Renewal (JNNURM).
MC Commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh said that the project had been scrapped in a high-level meeting of UT administration officials.
"We cannot dig the entire city in one go as it has never happened in the whole country; however, the damaged portion can be replaced one by one and for that a separate proposal and estimate can be prepared," he said.
"Another reason for scrapping the project was that while preparing the project, the diameter of the pipes to be laid in northern sectors were on the higher side."
Two years ago, the MC had proposed that main portion of the sewerage, which was laid between 1950s and 1970s in sectors with stoneware pipes for main sewers and bricklined with cement mortar, needed to be 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 had outlived its life.
In February 2010, the MC general house meeting approved the detailed project report with a cost of Rs 112 crore under JNNURM. The cost was later revised to Rs 193 crore and finally it shot to Rs 196 crore.
On May 1, HT highlighted as to how Union ministry of urban development raised objections on the project, which was resulting in 20 % increase in its cost.
The HT report had also pointed out that the MC had formulated the project for a projected population of 30 lakh. Taking into account the percentage rate of growth 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.
The project was to be completed in two phases. In the first phase, main sewerage was to be laid along Shanti Path, Vikas Marg, Bapu Dham to 3 BRD. In the second phase, it was to involve laying of sewerage from Sector 31 to Sewage Treatment Plant (STP), Diggian, near Phase-XI of SAS Nagar. The MC proposed that due to gases generaated in sewerage, circular brick drain (CBD) laid with cement mortar lining had outlived its life and lost its structural strength, which needs to be replaced.
Nominated Councilor, Surinder Bahga said, "In order to create the works, they prepared fictitious project reports and gets its nod from MC house and later on find it not viable."