A Delhi Jal Board (DJB) project to connect the Azadpur sewage pumping station (SPS) to the sewage treatment plant (STP) at Coronation Pillar has come under attack by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in its latest report. It stated that since the DJB failed to ensure “availability of clear site” before inviting tenders and awarding work, the project was abandoned midway leading to “unfruitful expenditure of Rs 73.85 lakh”.
The project concerned joining the Azadpur SPS to the Coronation Pillar STP by providing and laying down a 350 mm diametre sewage main pipeline.
This project would have transferred garbage from the MCD colony in Azadpur, Naniwala Bagh and the Azadpur Commercial Complex, which would reach the pumping station, to the treatment plant.
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“Failure on the part of the DJB in ensuring availability of a clear site before approval of notice and inviting tender and awarding of work, lead to the project being abandoned midway. This has not only resulted in unfruitful expenditure of Rs 73.85 lakh, but sewage from the Azadpur SPS could not be transported to the Coronation Pillar STP, as conceptualised,” the CAG report stated.
Citing sections from the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) Manual, 2012, the report stated that before the notice inviting tender (NIT) is approved, a series of measures need to be put in place.
These include availability of a clear site, funds, approval of building plans from local bodies and lay out plans for all services. In addition to that, confirmation of materials to be given to the contractor and structural drawings will be made available.
Apart from the delay in starting work on the project, the CAG report said that even after a 2,277.20 metre long pipe was laid down, work was stopped in August 2008 due to various hindrances — objections by Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs), ongoing monsoons and other works executed by the Public Works Department, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation and others.
Moreover, the DJB failed to provide the contractor a clear site, despite assurances that it will be done by August 2008, the report said.
Further, clearance for the work was given by the DJB in October 2008 when the contractor demanded Rs 2.45 crore against the initial cost of Rs 1.25 crore. With the DJB not acceding to this demand, the contractor was paid Rs 73.85 lakh for the work executed.
“The balance work was not awarded as of January 2015, though more than five years have elapsed since work was foreclosed in April 2009,” the report said.
The DJB, on the other hand, maintained that “hindrances” that came up in the project “could not be anticipated as the concerned agencies never informed them of likely developments”.
“The delay, leading to ultimate foreclosure was due to development work being done on war-footing during the period preceding the Commonwealth Games 2010 in Delhi,” the DJB further told the CAG.
Responding to the DJB’s claims, the CAG said, “The Commonwealth Games were held in October 2010, but the balance work was not awarded even after four years of completion of the games.”