After a delay of two years since the Union government’s approval, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has finally started the process of appointing a private agency for the construction of sewage treatment plants (STPs) as part of a Rs 990 -crore project for pollution abatement in the Mula-Mutha river. The project is under the National River Conservation Plan (NRCP) in the city.
Supported by the funding agency, Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA), the project is being implemented by the PMC. A loan agreement was signed on January 13, 2016, between the Government of India and the JICA for the project. Under the proposed project, the PMC plans to construct 11 new STPs of 396 MLD treatment capacity in total to cater to sewage generation for up to 2027, along with laying 113.6 km of sewers and construction of 24 community toilets.
The PMC has invited agencies for pre-qualification in tender process for the construction of the 11 STPs in six packages — 7 MLD STPs in Matsya Beij Kendra and 20 MLD STPs in Mundhwa, 75 MLD STP with biogas power generation plant at Bhairoba Nallah, 127 MLD with biogas power generation plant at Naidu hospital, 15 MLD plant at Tanajiwadi and 33 MLD plant at Dhanori. The work includes operation and maintenance of plants for 10 years.
The work has been divided into 13 contract packages that include three packages for sewer and six for STPs, one package for the central SCADA system, GIS, community toilet facility, and Institutional Capacity Building. Of the six packages, for construction of new STPs, the PMC would award work of different packages to different agencies with a maximum of two packages to the same contractor.
Pollution in the Mula-Mutha river — the river has a total length of 48 km — has been a major cause of concern in the recent years. The pollution is mostly caused by discharge of untreated sewage. The total sewage treatment capacity of the existing functional sewage treatment plants (STPs) is 477 Million Litre per Day (MLD), while the volume of sewage generated at present is estimated at 728 MLD. The remaining untreated sewage is discharged directly into the Mula-Mutha river. Sewage generation volume in 2027 is estimated to be 873 MLD, with the assumption of a high annual population growth ratio of 2.5 per cent.
“It is urgent for the PMC to provide expansion or augmentation of the existing sewerage facilities, including sewage collection systems, intermediate pump stations and sewage treatment plants,” said a civic officer. The 11 new STPs are proposed in Botanical Garden, Baner, Warje, Wagaon Budhurk, Tanajiwadi, Naidu Hospital, Dhanori, Bhairoba nalla, Mundhwa, Kharadi and Matsyabeej centre. Once started, the project is scheduled to be completed in the three years.