Mumbai: Following the directives of the Supreme Court, the BMC finally approved the proposal of all sewage treatment plants (STP), except Bhandup. The construction and up-gradation of the six STPs at Worli, Bandra, Dharavi, Versova, Malad, and Ghatkopar will now start post-monsoon.
Only the Bhandup STP has been stuck since the lowest bidder has quoted 54 per cent below the BMC's estimated cost of Rs 2537 crore. Now a team of BMC officials will be visiting South Korea to study the feasibility of the cost and technology.
At present, the STP at Colaba treats wastewater to the required standards before allowing water to be released into the nearest water source. The remaining STPs have been pumping out over 1,800 million litres of wastewater per day into rivers, creeks, or the sea after primary treatment.
The project of seven STPs is delayed by 15 years as the BMC was seeking environmental clearances from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF), and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on new discharge norms for treated sewage into sea or any water body.
Meanwhile, the project has seen a massive increase from its initial proposed cost of Rs 5,500 crore in 2009 to Rs 26,000 crore in 2022.
The BMC scrapped the tender of seven STPs in February, after receiving the high bidding price (30 per cent to 70 per cent cent above the BMC estimates) from the contractors and the Opposition’s allegation of cartelisation.
The Supreme Court directed the civic body to award tenders to eligible lowest bidders before May 31. Accordingly, the BMC administration approved the proposal for six STPs in last four days.
But the lowest bidder for the Bhandup STP quoted Rs 1,170 crore while the cost estimated by the BMC is around Rs 2,537 crore.
Additional municipal commissioner, P. Velarasu said, "Except Bhandup, the work for all other STPs will start post-monsoon. For Bhandup STP, we will look at the technical feasibility by sending a team of engineers to South Korea."
According to the details given by the BMC officials, the team will inspect
their plant operations, outlet parameters and understand the ongoing process cycles.
A few days ago, BMC administrator Dr Iqbal Singh Chahal approved the proposal for the first STP at Dharavi, which has a capacity to treat 418 million litres of sewage daily.