Officials of the Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam said that the 74 MLD (million litres per day) sewage treatment plant in Indirapuram may have to be closed down as the maintenance charges for nearly one-and-half-years is yet to be paid to the agency concerned. The Jal Nigam has asked the municipal corporation to take over the facility and pay the maintenance charges.
The plant was constructed at a cost of nearly Rs140 crore to comply with the directions of the Supreme Court prohibiting the discharge of untreated sewage into the Yamuna. At present, charges of over Rs 7 crore is pending for the maintenance of the plant. Officials said that Rs 14.92 crore is required for the annual maintenance and electricity charges of the sewage treatment plant (STP).
“Any developed public facility has to be taken over by the municipal corporation for maintenance. We have raised the issue at the executive committee meeting of the corporation and asked for funds. However, corporation officials refused to pay or take over the plant as they said that the STP is treating sewerage from a number of colonies that were developed by other agencies,” Mohammed Tahir, project manager, Yamuna Pradushan Niyantran Ikai, a unit of UP Jal Nigam, said.
“The firm that constructed the STP is undertaking its maintenance. Its officials said that they will be forced to withdraw in case of non-payment. We have pursued the matter time and again with the corporation but no decision has been taken yet. Even agencies like Ghaziabad development authority and UP Avas Vikas, which developed colonies, have denied sharing the amount on the grounds that they have handed over the colonies to the corporation,” he said.
In July, the secretary of Nagar Vikas had directed the director (local bodies) to deduct the amount from the funds of the Ghaziabad municipal corporation but the directions are yet to be complied with. At a meeting in Lucknow on September 3, the secretary chaired a meeting and reissued the direction to deduct the payment.
“Despite the directions, there has been no payment so far. In case the STP is shut down, it will take a huge expenditure to resume the operations. Also, this will severely affect river Yamuna as untreated sewage from a number of residential colonies flow through the major Sahibabad drain,” an official said.
Officials of the UP Jal Nigam had also raised the issue with the executive committee of the Ghaziabad municipal corporation in a meeting on June 23.
For their part, officials of the municipal corporation said that they wrote several letters to the state officials over the issue.
“As the STP receives sewage from various colonies developed by other agencies, we alone cannot pay up. Other agencies have to share the amount. The corporation cannot pay such a big amount on its own. The matter is pending at the state level,” SK Sinha, general manager (water works), Ghaziabad municipal corporation, said.