Plans afoot to revamp Chandigarh’s over 5-decade-old sewerage system

The civic body will be appointing a consultant to analyse the existing structure and suggest options to improve it.
Frequent breakdowns of the sewer lines are often reported across the city as it struggles to handle flows much higher than its design capacity.(HT file photo)
Frequent breakdowns of the sewer lines are often reported across the city as it struggles to handle flows much higher than its design capacity.(HT file photo)
Updated on Sep 11, 2020 01:59 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By, Chandigarh

Chandigarh municipal corporation (MC) is all set to upgrade and replace the city’s more than 50-year-old sewerage system. As a first step, the civic body will be appointing a consultant to analyse the existing structure and suggest options to improve it.

Frequent breakdowns of the sewer lines are often reported across the city as it struggles to handle flows much higher than its design capacity. Similarly, the old stormwater drainage system gets flooded every monsoon because of its low capacity.

Confirming the development, municipal commissioner KK Yadav, said, “City’s sewerage system is quite old and requires a major overhaul. At several places, relaying of new sewers is very much needed.”

“We are planning to engage a consultant who will examine the requirements for replacements and upgrades. After taking into costing issues under consideration, different options for improving city’s sewerage system will be reviewed,” he added.

The consultancy work will be given to either a government agency or a private firm. With a government agency such as Punjab Engineering College (PEC) or National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research (NITTTR), MC will sign a memorandum of understanding, and if it is a private firm tenders will be floated for invitation.

To choose between the two options, an agenda will be submitted before the MC general house for its approval.

“There are certain parameters against which the consultant will measure the efficiency of the sewerage system. On the basis of this analysis, they will prepare a detailed project report and submit it to us with their recommendations. On the basis of this report, the costing will be finalised and final project plans will be prepared,” Yadav said.

AT THE END OF LIFE CYCLE

Chandigarh has both brick and pipe sewers laid in four phases as city expanded. One of the particular concerns is the brick and mortar sewer which became operational shortly after the foundation of the city. “As per our study, there are several places where these have majorly thinned out due to continuous erosion. Chemical reactions because of toxic gases in the sewers have led to the damage. There are fears that these might even collapse,” said an MC official who didn’t want to be named.

Even the carrying capacity of the sewers is low as the population increases in the city.

“The existing stormwater drainage system is inadequate to manage the discharge during heavy rainfall. The system was designed in phases, for 15mm rainfall per hour in phase 1 (northern sectors), 20mm in phase 2 (central sectors), and 25mm in phase 3 (southern sectors),” said another MC official.

Significantly, the civic body has already initiated the process to upgrade the five sewage treatment plants (STPs) in the city. However, low and poor capacity of the main trunk sewers will handicap any improvement in the STP.

“The options to improve the system will either require total replacement of the sewers or modifications. Technologies are now available that can improve the existing old sewer channels. The consultant’s report will indicate what options can be employed at which places in the city,” said Shailender Singh, MC’s chief engineer.

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Saturday, January 22, 2022