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Funds push to sewage plan

The city is set to get its maiden pipeline-based sewage network.

National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) has approved Rs 500 crore for the Patna sewage scheme. Singapore-based Meinhardt (Singapore) Pte Ltd has prepared its detailed project report for Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation (BUIDCo). It would be tabled in the meeting of Patna Municipal Corporation’s empowered standing committee on Monday for clearance.

The length of the pipeline under the proposed sewage scheme in the city would be around 1,600km. It would provide door-to-door connectivity for collection and disposal of waste water.

The scheme entails overhaul of the four existing sewage treatment plants (STP) in the city and development of two new STPs on the Ganga banks.

“The state’s urban and housing development department has submitted a proposal for the city’s sewage scheme having an estimated outlay of Rs 2,580 crore to NGRBA. It comprises six components. Around Rs 500 crore against three of them have been approved by the NGRBA under the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) this week,” said a senior BUIDCo official.

NGRBA is a flagship scheme of the Union ministry of forests and environment. It was launched on February 20, 2009 under Section 3(3) of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 for collective efforts of the central and state governments for prevention of pollution and preservation of the Ganga. NMCG is a registered society for co-ordinating and implementing the various activities of the NGRBA.

The BUIDCo official said: “As of now, the waste water disposal system in the city is mostly based on the network of open drains. The new scheme envisages development of a network of sewage pipeline. Experts from IIT-Roorkee have done technical assessment of the project and we would start the bidding process as soon as the PMC issues a no-objection certificate to the project and funds are released to the state government.”

Environment experts are sceptical about the success of the new sewage system, though. “The existing STPs are under-utilised because of deficiency in the sewage collection system. The new pipelines should be levelled properly to ensure smooth flow of waste water to the STPs. The entire system should be monitored properly, otherwise it would turn out into another disaster,” said R.C. Sinha, the chief executive director of Centre of Environment and Nature Conservation (CENC), Patna.

The city’s existing drainage system was developed in 1968. Now, it is virtually defunct. Over one-third of the city has no drainage system.