The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had floated a tender for starting construction and consultancy works for the proposed Sewage Treatment Plants in six locations in Mumbai.
Earlier in December, the BMC standing committee had cleared a Rs 61 crore proposal, following which the civic body had had appointed a private consultant for constructing seven STPs at Worli, Bandra, Dharavi, Versova, Malad, Bhandup and Ghatkopar and the total project would cost around Rs 20,000 crore including 15 years of maintenance. Later in March this year, the civic body had floated another tender for awarding contract to bidders for starting construction works.
However, out of the STPs, bidders had responded to six of them and no contractor has bid for Malad STP.
Presently the consultants are evaluating the process of starting consultation works and the proposal for appointment of contractors may soon be tabled at the BMC standing committee for approval.
However, members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the BMC on Monday have said that the project is being pushed in a hasty manner for urgent clearance.
"There are a number of loopholes in the new tender, the new project estimates is costing 80% to 150% more than what it was one and half years back," said Bhalchandra Shirsat - senior BJP corporator and spokesperson of the party in BMC.
"Cost of similar treatment plants installed under Namami Gange initiative of union ministry cost around Rs 2 crore per MLD of sewage treated, while the estimated cost of this project is around Rs 12.5 crore per MLD," Shirsat added.
On Monday, Shirsat had written a letter to the municipal commissioner pointing out the discrepancies and mentioning that the municipal administration should do a thorough assessment and background check of the contractors before tabling the proposal.
"It is also learnt that some outsiders are active to award this contract to their preffered contractors," said Shirshat in the letter.
"There are members of the ruling Shiv Sena who are pressurising the administration for clearing this project at the earliest, latest by end of April," he said.
Meanwhile, senior civic officials maintained, the administration is hurrying up with the project as they want to start the work before monsoon this year.
"The project has been due for more than ten years now, we don't want to delay it anymore, if we don't start our works before monsoon, then the project would get delayed again by a year," said an official.
"There is no treatment between Dahisar and Andheri so a lot of waste goes into the sea untreated, which is why having these treatment plants are necessary," the official said.