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Friday, April 23, 2021

Pune: Delay in project to curb pollution in Mula and Mutha rivers pushes up cost by over 50%

Municipal Commissioner Vikram Kumar said the PMC needed to make budgetary provisions to contribute some money for the project considering the increased project cost.

Written by Ajay Jadhav | Pune |
Updated: April 1, 2021 7:29:53 pm
River cleaning in progress at Mula-Mutha river. (Express Photo: Arul Horizon, File)

The delay in implementation of a project to curb pollution in Mula and Mutha rivers has hiked the project cost to Rs 1,511.34 crore from the Rs 990.26 crore estimated in 2016.The civic administration has recently undertaken retendering of the project to begin the actual work.

The project cost was estimated to be Rs 990.26 crore in 2016 after it was approved by the Union government. Under the proposed project, the PMC plans to construct 11 new sewage treatment plants (STPs) of combined treatment capacity of 396 million litres per day to cater to the city’s sewage generation up to 2027, along with laying 113.6 km of sewer lines.

The 11 new STPs are proposed in Botanical garden, Baner, Warje, Wadgaon Budruk, Tanajiwadi, Naidu Hospital, Dhanori, Bhairoba nalla, Mundhwa, Kharadi and Matsyabeej centre. The project is planned to be completed in three years.

The National River Conservation Directorate of the Union government had given its go-ahead for the project in 2016. Of the original estimate cost of Rs 990.26 crore, the Centre was to provide 85 per cent of the funding by taking a soft loan from Japan Industrial Cooperation Agency (JICA). As per the agreement with the Union government, Rs 841.72 crore (85 per cent of Rs 990.26 crore) was to come from the Centre, while the remaining amount had to be raised by the civic body.

Municipal Commissioner Vikram Kumar said the PMC needed to make budgetary provisions to contribute some money for the project considering the increased project cost.

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According to civic administration, the construction cost had increased by Rs 305 crore and there is addition of another Rs 216.08 crore for its maintenance and repair, which has taken the overall project cost to Rs 1,511.34 crore.

The PMC had estimated expenditure of Rs 764.40 crore for construction of STPs and laying sewage lines in riverside and central part of city and got approval in 2015. However, the revised estimate has increased its cost to Rs 1,080.02 crore.

The PMC also has to make budgetary provision for maintenance and repair work of the 11 STP to be constructed under the project. Thus, the estimated cost for the purpose is Rs 216.08 crore.

The public awareness campaign and providing technical support to the staff would require Rs 7.2 crore as against estimated Rs 5.4 crore in 2016. Similarly, the cost of setting up SCADA system and use of GIS technology for the project has increased from Rs 16.10 crore to Rs 22.38 crore due to the delay.

The PMC so far has been able to lay 18.50 km of sewage lines in Baner-Balewadi area at a cost of Rs 23.5 crore and would require additional Rs 8 crore for the purpose.

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