The issue came up during a discussion during the standing committee meet, where corporators raised questions over spending money for maintenance of STPs which were not giving any returns.
“The idea behind having STPs was to generate revenue for the civic body. But, the administration has not been able to generate revenue. On the top of it, we have to spend money for maintenance of such plants,” pointed out NCP corporator MK Madhvi.
He was supported by Shiv Sena’s Manoj Haldankar, NCP’s Suraj Patil and Bharat Nakhate among others.
The matter came up during a proposal for giving maintenance contract of Koparkhairane STP for Rs3.99 crore. The monthly maintenance of such STPs is pegged at Rs33 lakh.
NMMC constructed STPs at Nerul, Sanpada, Airoli and Belapur with an aim to treat sewerage water and sell it to industries. But, this experiment has failed since there are no takers for treated water and the civic body has to release the water in creek.
A few years back, NMMC had tried to approach industries in Thane-Belapur belt, but met with little success. “It is difficult to find potential buyers given the public mindset towards treated water. We want to sell such water for commercial purposes, but some unit owners were not willing,” said a civic official.
He added, “Since NMMC is the only civic body which supplies water at low rates, no one is willing to buy costly treated water and here is where the project has failed.”
Recently, when Union minister Nitin Gadkari was in Navi Mumbai, he had suggested the civic body to put the treated water to use for generation of electricity.