Unsure of the status of funds sanctioned under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) scheme for the construction of a sewerage treatment plant (STP) at Bhandup in February, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation will start inviting tenders for construction of the Bhandup STP in the next two months.
The move was prompted after repeated warning and notices issued by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to the BMC to construct the treatment plants at the earliest, especially the Bhandup and Ghatkopar ones.
The cost of the Bhandup STP has been estimated at Rs 365 crore, of which 50 per cent of the cost would be borne by BMC and the rest will be taken care of by the Centre and the state government. "We will wait for two more months for funds. After that, we will start inviting tenders for the project since we can't wait indefinitely for it," said an official from the civic sewerage operations department.
Meanwhile, the civic body will also start work on the Ghatkopar STP, estimated at a cost of Rs 500 crore. "The BMC will bear the entire cost of the project," said the official.
The JNNURM scheme – a massive modernization plan – was launched in 2005 by the former UPA government to financially support vital civic and infrastructural projects. Under the scheme, the centre bears 35 per cent of the project cost, while 15 per cent of the cost is funded by the state government. The rest 50 per cent of the project cost is borne by the agency responsible for carrying out the work. The scheme officially ended in 2012 but was given a two-year extension till March 31, 2014 and the new NDA government is in the process of planning a major revamp of it.
Mumbai has a total of seven projects being undertaken under the scheme. Both the Bhandup and the Ghatkopar STPs come under the BMC's ambitious Mumbai Sewerage Disposal Project II, which includes construction of STPs at seven locations across the city including Colaba, Bandra, Versova, Malad and Worli.
Neeraj Mandloi, joint secretary of the JNNURM programme told dna from Delhi that since the project was sanctioned in February this year, it is caught in a transition phase. "In such a case, the agency responsible for the project will have to reapply for funds, unless the first installment of money has already been paid to them."
BMC officials, however, clarified that the first installment is yet to reach them and are unaware of any further developments in this regard. “If asked to reapply, we will do so,” an official said.