This week the NMMC Standing Committee put its approval to another first for NMMC under its Chief Dr Ramaswami. Overlooking other potental contenders Surat and Nagpur, NMMC has been selected by the state to execute a crucial project under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Amrut Yojana”. The project is to supply treated water from Airoli and KK’s STP plants to industries in the TTC area. The proposal consists of “Design, Build & Operate 40 MLD Tertiary Sewage Treatment to treat secondary treated sewage from Kopar Khairane and Airoli STP and to supply Tertiary Treated water to Industries in TTC- MIDC Area.” The tender has been awarded to M/s Tandon Engineers and Construction India Pvt Ltd & M/s Eagle Infrastructure India for a cost of Rs 380 Crores 64 Lacs 93 Thousand 891. As the proposal was put to debate, for the first time, the NMMC Chief was present during the Standing Committee meeting. Not surprisingly, the most relevant questions, from the point of view of any citizen, in regards to the proposal was raised by NCP corporator Divya Gaikwad.
Why Shift From C-Tech to Ultra Filtration & Ultraviolet
Divya Gaikwad questioned that when the STP plants were made on C Technology, then why has NMMC proposed change of technology to ultra-filtration & untraviolet ?
Why Not Sell Treated Water Directly As Report Has Endorsed Its Quality
Reading from a report on the tested water, she questioned why treated water is not being sold directly.
Confusion Over Cost Escalation From Rs. 260 Crores to Rs. 380 Crores
She also questioned why the administration put two costs of the same work in the proposal. She further questioned the kms that the work would run into.
Shiv Sena Corporator Shivram Patil also raised a significant point on whether there was a guarantee that MIDC would buy the water.
The Commissioner appreciated the Qs and concerns raised by the members.
The Commissioner said that they need to shift technology to be able to meet the parameters of the water quality NMMC needs to achieve to be able to sell the treated water to MIDC. He said that they are working on signing a MOU between MIDC and NMMC. He assured that clauses have been kept that NMMC will do bulk supply and retrieve cost of water from MIDC. On Divya Gaikwad’s question, the Commissioner clarified the change in costs projected. The Commissioner informed the members, that Navi Mumbai was selected for the project which indicated how well the performance of the municipal corporation is rated.
After the debates and deliberations, the proposal was approved by the committee. Speaking to NMTV, Standing Committee Chairman Suresh Kulkarni said that he was confident that the project will be a success. In a conversation with NMTV, Dr Ramaswami voiced confidence that in 15 years, this project will retrieve its cost and earn a profit of Rs. 100 Crores. He said that the 40 MLD water that will be saved in supply in MIDC region can be diverted to MMR region.
The NMMC STP plants have earned the title of being white elephants. While this project could break the jinx of selling treated water from NMMC, that has been a dream since it was made, if its not achieved, it could result in another example of wastage of public funds by NCP ruled NMMC. With Monika Bhosale, Zeba Warsia for NMTV News.