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CIDCO’S STP PLANT PROJECT EXPOSES POOR PLANNING IN NMMC

stp-1This week a proposal was brought to NMMC Standing Committee to appoint a consultant for erecting infrastructure to utilize and sell treated water from NMMC STP Plants. NMMC administration has proposed that they pay Rs. 1.58 Crore to a consultant to put this plan in place, which once again brings to light NMMC’s failure to sell millions of liters of treated water from STP plants that is being drained inwaste into the sea even today. While on the other hand CIDCO has already put in place a plan to use water treated in their STP plants to use for their own projects. We draw a line of comparison between NMMC and CIDCO and it becomes more evident that there is poor planning in NMMC. Let’s begin the NMMC saga of STP plant sale of treated water failure with the projections shown in budget last year and in the current year. The NMMC budget in 2009-10 estimated revenue from sale of treated sewage water of Rs. 5 Crores; which were only assumed projections. How else would one justify the budgeted revenue for the current year for the same being reduced to Rs. 2.5 Crores by the municipal administration? However, the Standing Committee and the General Body increased the proposed revenue from the sale of treated sewage water from Rs. 2.5 Crores to Rs. 9.5 Crores in the 2010-11 budget. The corporators did this without even considering how this would be possible and even ignored the fact that the revenue in 2009-10 from sale of STP treated water was 0. After more than half the financial year is over, this week a proposal was brought to NMMC Standing Committee to appoint a consultant for erecting infrastructure to utilize and sell treated water from NMMC STP Plants. NMMC administration has proposed that they pay Rs. 1.58 Crore to a consultant to put this plan in place. The Standing Committee members sought a week’s time to study this proposed bid of M/s DRA Consultant Pvt. Ltd. to be appointed consultant and chalk out a plan to sell treated water from STP plants in Vashi, Nerul and Airoli for twenty years. However, a closer look at the proposal shows that the NMMC administration is once again up to its favorite game of presenting significant proposals in a vague way so that the illiterate corporators are confused and embarrassed to approve a wishful looking proposal without understanding the implications. We bring to you some points that are missing the proposal pending for NMMC Standing Committee’s approval. * To start with the said proposal does not mention the quantum of treated water to be utilized and sold from the 280 MLD Capacity of the three C-Tech based STP plants presently operational in the city. * It does not mention the date of the commissioning of these plants * It does not mention the quantum of treated water unutilized since then * It does not mention the revenue impact of the said utilization. Further there are three more STP plants being erected in the city. A comprehensive utilization plan would have been more appropriate in the financial interest of the corporation. On the other hand, CIDCO is already putting infrastructure in place to supply treated water from it’s under- construction STP plant in Kharghar to the under- development Central Park and Golf Course. NMMC’s Leader of the House Vitthal More, however defends NMMC and says that CIDCO’s STP plant’s capacity is only 25 MLD while NMMC’s is 280 MLD. The CIDCO plant is indeed very small, yet the lacuna in NMMC planning cannot be overlooked. Forethought would have required NMMC to bring the proposal of utilization and sale of treated water to be put in place while the STP plants were being constructed. It is the failure of the corporators, who should have insisted on the same. Time and again, the NMMC administration brings ambitious proposals, which involves huge expenditure of public funds. These projects are generally presented with such fanfare and hullabaloo, that often the uneducated corporators of NMMC are spellbound and fail to understand the utility of the project and whether it will benefit the masses. If this trend of high cost proposals being just passed for huge commissions continues, then it is highly possible that NMMC will become a debt ridden corporation in the future. With cameraperson Vinayak Dalvi, Sana Warsia for NMTV News.

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