In what could be major setback for the civic body’s delayed Rs13,500-crore Mumbai Sewerage Disposal Project-2 (MSDP-2) and city’s goal to achieve 100% sewerage network, it has now been revealed that the municipal corporation’s inability to meet project deadlines led to a loss of 50 % funding from the Centre and the state.
If the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had completed project within the time limit, it would have received 50% financial aid from the Centre and the state under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) scheme.
HT had reported that the Comptroller and Auditor General has flayed the (BMC) over financial irregularities, unfinished work and failed master plan causing serious environmental hazards to the city’s coast line.
The documents accessed by HT show that in 2012 and 2013, the civic body had approached the ministry of urban development seeking grants under JNNURM for the Bhandup treatment plant and other work, in which 35% was supposed to be paid by the Centre and 15% by the state. But the aid was refused because of delays in the project.
A source from civic body said, “The BMC failed to seek financial help because of the apathy of MSDP department officials and the consultant. The JNNURM grants are conditional to meeting deadlines. This project has already gone through several extensions and yet remained incomplete. Now, the corporation will have to rely on unnecessary loans, which will delay the project further.”
Under JNNURM, the development projects taken up by urban local bodies are entitled to 50% aid. However, after the NDA government came to power, it phased out JNNURM and introduced AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation) yojana, under which the development projects of all civic bodies could avail of only 35% aid from the Centre.
MSDP-2 is under CAG scanner for “unfruitful and deficient” master plan that led to failure in its implementation. The plan was prepared by international consultancy firm Mott Macdonald consortium. The delay of more than eight years has caused massive cost escalation. When the project was planned in 2002, its cost was Rs5,500 crore.
The master plan was supposed to be implemented before 2007, but it did not take off. At a later stage, the BMC appointed same consultants for five years to take the project ahead. In the meanwhile, the project cost touched Rs13,500 crore.