The country’s topper in Smart City list is deprived of basic sewerage treatment facilities! Surprising as it may seem, sewerage water either seeps into ground or flows into storm water drains to be discharged into rivers and nullahs in the Capital City.
Only a fraction of the 200 million litres of sewerage generated in the City per day is treated in a single oxidation pond which was built 25 years back. Two other oxidation ponds built for sewerage treatment are lying defunct.
Running Way Behind the Schedule
The Odisha Water Supply & Sewerage Board (OWSSB), which is entrusted with executing sewerage treatment plants (STPs) across the State, came up with an ambitious project – Integrated Sewerage System for Bhubaneswar City (ISSBC) – in 2006. Under the project, the Capital City was divided into six sewerage districts with as many proposed STPs.
A decade since the project was inked, only one STP at Mancheswar has witnessed 30 per cent construction work.
While the project is already running behind by five years, construction work on Mancheswar STP has been stalled for the last five months.
Due to technical incompetence of a sub-contractor engaged by the lessee, a Chennai-based firm, the latter has scrapped its agreement with the former. But, the work on the plant is expected to resume within 15 days.
Project Engineer Sisir Kanta Dash
Built over 41 acre of land, the STP at Mancheswar will cater to sewerage generated from households, commercial and official establishments located between Jaydev Vihar square and Shikharchandi hill. Once completed, the plant will be equipped to treat 48 MLD sewerage.
STPs Caught in Legal Tangle
On the other hand, the tendering process for proposed STPs in Sewerage Districts 1, 2 and 3 has been dragged into a legal tangle after one of the bidders, who was debarred in the technical evaluation, moved the Orissa High Court challenging the disqualification. While the OWSSB had opened fresh tenders for these projects, a single bidder offering an exorbitant price resulted in cancellation of the process.
Though progress of ISSBC has been delayed, once the six units are operational, overall issues of sewerage disposal and treatment will be addressed. The new technology, Activated Sludge Process (ASP) along with Modified Ludzack-Ettinger will remove nitrates from waste water before disposal into rivers, Dash said.
All said and done, absence of sewerage treatment facilities is a major blow to Bhubaneswar’s Smart City plans and contradicts the improvement in its rank in National cleanliness survey – Swachh Sarvekshyan.
Courtesy: The New India Express