CAG slams BMC, contractor over Rs12,000-cr sewage project
The BMC’s ambitious Rs12,000-crore Mumbai Sewerage Disposal Project (MSDP-2) has been severely criticised by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of Maharashtra for financial irregularities, faulty design and technology, incorrect data and incompetence.
In a note accessed by HT, the CAG flayed the BMC for failing to implement the project and for the “unfruitful” and “deficient” master plan prepared in 2002 by an international consultancy consortium of Mott Macdonald and RV Anderson. 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. This year, 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 (see box).
A senior official from the MSDP department said, “The CAG has slammed civic body for paying the consultant Rs143 crore despite no work being completed.”
Actual physical progress on the project has also been slow, with tenders issued only for the plant at Colaba so far. The CAG noted that work on sewerage treatment plants, outfalls and transfer sewers is yet to be tendered. The process of laying new sewer lines and rehabilitating old ones, however, is in progress. Civic chief Ajoy Mehta told HT, “After CAG’s remarks we have been trying to speed up the project. In the next few months we will be able to float the tenders for all eight sewerage treatment plants.” A representative of the Mott MacDonald consortium did not respond to repeated calls and text messages.
Eight medal winners in Birmingham Commonwealth Games hailing from Uttar Pradesh, including four silver medallists, will be entitled to a total cash prize of ₹5.25 crore as per the policy of the state government.
The Jaypee Greens Kalypso Court project has become the first stalled housing project in the state to be completed under the supervision of the UP RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Authority). The project got stalled after the developer couldn't complete it within the stipulated time frame. The promoter, Jaiprakash Associates Limited, has started giving possession of flats to 148 allottees in two towers in its township in Gautam Buddha Nagar.
After questioning mafioso-turned-politician Atiq Ahmad's second son Ali Ahmad during a day-long police remand, the Kareli police have recovered an illegal semi-automatic pistol used by Ali for assaulting property dealer Zeeshan aka Janu in December 2021. SHO of Kareli police station Arvind Gautam said the illegal firearm and two live ammunitions have been recovered from a deserted spot near Bakshi Modha Bridge on confession of Ali.
Chief secretary Durga Shankar Mishra on Monday issued guidelines for the celebration of the 76th Independence Day and other planned events, including the 'Har Ghar Tiranga' campaign from August 13 to August 15 and Independence Week from August 11 to August 17 with all the fervour in the state. All government and non-government offices, educational institutes, commercial/industrial establishments etc will remain open on August 15, and only khadi flags will be hoisted there.
The East-West corridor project, which will be India's first underwater metro service, is likely to be completed by June 2023, its executing agency Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation said on Monday. The metro line, which will connect Salt Lake to Howrah via Kolkata with a stretch below the Hooghly river, is currently operational between Sector V and Sealdah stations.