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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

SC directs BMC to award contracts for STP upgradation project

The new STPs will be able to make tertiary level treatment of 50 per cent sewage (that can be used for potable purpose) collected in sewerage network.

Written by Laxman Singh | Mumbai |
May 4, 2022 11:27:17 pm
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The Supreme Court of India has permitted the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to award contracts for the Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) upgradation project.

On Wednesday, the apex court, while expressing satisfaction over the progress in the project, directed the civic body to award tenders to eligible lowest bidders before May 31. The project has been delayed for more than a decade.

Under the Mumbai Sewage Disposal Project-II (MSDP-II), the BMC has finalised seven contractors for seven STPs, who have agreed to execute the work for Rs 25,963.32 crore. The seven STPs with capacity to treat 2,464 million litre sewage daily will be constructed at Worli, Dharavi, Bandra, Versova, Malad, Ghatkopar and Bhandup. While STPs at six locations will be upgraded, a new STP will be constructed at Dharavi.

In a hearing on Wednesday, Municipal Commissioner I S Chahal informed the court about finalised contractors for the project seeking further direction.

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“The court in its hearing today has appreciated the work done by BMC in short time and directed the municipal commissioner to award the tender to the eligible bidder before May 31. Further, the court has kept the next date of hearing in July 2022 to monitor the progress of setting up these STPs in Mumbai,” the BMC said in a statement on Wednesday.

The BMC will start issuing work orders to eligible contractors in the next few weeks.

The Indian Express had reported on May 3 that the BMC has finalised the contractors for the sewage disposal project. In February, the BMC had scrapped the tenders floated for STPs following allegations of high bids from contractors and cartelisation. The contractors had quoted more than 30 per cent to 70 per cent above the estimates prepared by the BMC for the work.

On February 26, the Supreme Court, while hearing petitions on sea water pollution due to non-compliance of environmental norms set for sewage discharge from existing primary STPs, had slammed the corporation for delay in the project and directed it to appoint contractors and submit a report before the court.

BMC officials said after contractors are appointed, it will take 48 to 72 months to complete the work. The new STPs will be able to make tertiary level treatment of 50 per cent sewage (that can be used for potable purpose) collected in sewerage network.

Currently, Mumbai generates as much as 2,400 million litres of sewage daily. However, except the STP at Colaba, none of the existing STPs is following the discharge norms set by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). Previously, a study had found that coastal water around Juhu, Girgaum Chowpatty and Haji Ali was dirty.

The project was first planned in 2002 and has seen several hiccups and massive cost escalation.

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