BMC panel to go into CAG criticism on sewage project
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has appointed a three-member committee to go into the work done by an international consortium led by Mott Macdonald for its ambitious Rs12,000-crore Mumbai Sewerage Disposal Project (MSDP-2) that has come under fire from the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).
The probe was ordered last week and the report is expected in 15 days.
The committee headed by deputy chief engineer (Mumbai Sewage Disposal Project) includes the deputy law officer and the deputy chief accountant (finance). It will probe all the problems mentioned in the CAG report and fix responsibility for any wrongdoing. It will also consider if the Rs143 crore paid to the consultant was justified.
Additional municipal commissioner Dr Sanjay Mukherjee confirmed the development.
The project envisages the setting up of seven sewage treatment plants — at Colaba, Worli, Bandra, Versova, Malad, Ghatkopar and Bhandup — and upgrading existing networks to cover the entire city by 2025.
The contract to prepare the master plan was awarded in 1999 and it was completed in 2002. However, after the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board changed pollution norms for treatment plants in 2007, the job of preparing the plan for the project was again awarded to the same consortium.
But eight years later, the plan remained incomplete despite a three-year extension. In 2015, the BMC decided to cancel the contract and choose another contractor.
But by this time, the cost of the project had more than doubled from Rs5,000 crore to Rs12,000 crore. The CAG note also pointed to deficiencies in the master plan at the time of execution.
Of the seven locations, only the treatment plant at Colaba has seen some progress, with the tenders being allotted for construction.
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