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UGD bogged down in STP delays, fund crunch

G. V. PRASADA SARMA, The Hindu, 03 February, 2014


Work on the pumping main as part of underground drainage going on at Birla Junction in the city recently.

Work has been taken up under the JNNURM at a cost of Rs. 244 corre in 2008


VISAKHAPATNAM: Change of plans to use the underused capacity of the sewage treatment plant (STP) at One Town sparing the capacity of the new STP at Narava and paucity of funds has led to delay in the completion of underground drainage (UGD) project work.


UGD covering the central parts of the city has been taken up under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) at a cost of Rs.244 crore in 2008.


However, shifting the location of STPs from railway land to Narava and locals objecting to the location of pumping stations has led to inordinate delay with the work still going on. Owing to change in the location of the STP, the cost has gone up by Rs.20 crore.


An STP with 108 million litres a day (mld) capacity has been proposed at Narava.


The Jodugullapadu and Hanumanthavaka pumping stations have already been linked to the Mudasarlova STP with 13 mld capacity. Vimanangar, Baji Junction and Venkatapuram pumping stations- totalling 58 mld capacity- are being linked to the Narava STP. Vimananagar pumping station has to be linked to main at Kottapalem covering 3 km to complete the work.


“As of now we plan to create and use only the 58 mld linking the three pumping stations. The remaining will be brought under use as and when UGD is taken up for Malkapuram and Gajuwaka areas,” Chief Engineer B. Jayarami Reddy told The Hindu. Of the 38 mld capacity STP at One Town area, only 15 mld is being used now. Underutilisation of STPs is a phenomenon all over India, he says. A 2.3 km pumping main has to be laid from Convent Junction to the One Town area to cover some areas, Mr. Jayarami Reddy said.


Similarly, 0.7 km pumping main has to be laid from Jnanapuram to the STP in the Port. The Port STP’s capacity will be increased from 10to 17 mld.


However, because there has been a change from the site which was first proposed the resultant cost escalation will not be borne by the Central Government. This has to be footed by the GVMC.


Though it was proposed to spend the money from the 13 Finance Commission, it did not materialise because there was no elected body, the CE said. Now the money has to be raised from the general funds of the GVMC.


As of now, 70 per cent of the Rs.244 UGD project taken up in 2008 has been completed spending about Rs.180 crore. Of the 350 km of work of laying sewer lines, only 2.5 km has to be completed.


At Narava, 65 per cent of the work on STPs has been completed.


Fund release


The Central Government has agreed to release funds withheld following the GVMC complying with almost all the reforms.


“We expect to complete the work by June after which 25,000 households can be connected to the STP. The remaining can be connected over the next few months,” Mr. Jayarami Reddy said.