| Accumulated garbage at Saidpur in Patna. Picture by Nagendra Kumar Singh |
Residents of the state capital are forced to drink unsafe water and live in filth, as Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) continues to sit on paperwork, delaying start of at least two civic projects.
“The PMC is supplying drinking water through the underground supply system introduced in 1916. The system is almost defunct because the pipeline is damaged at many places. Sewage water seeps in from the drainage pipeline that runs parallel to it,” said Ashok Ghosh, the head of the environment and water management department, AN College.
He added: “The city has no organised system for solid waste management. The civic body had earlier taken the service of A2Z Infrastructure Private Ltd for nine of the 72 wards. But the private firm suspended work from July 2011 because of pending payment of Rs 7.5 crore from the PMC for 18 months. The firm also took the matter to the high court.”
When Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation (BUIDCo) recently selected firms to undertake two Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission-sponsored projects, the PMC did not issue the no-objection certificates. BUIDCo had selected the consortium of Geo Miller & Company Private Ltd and Gammon India Ltd in February. It applied for the no-objection certificate from the civic body in March for construction of 30 overhead water tanks across the city.
Five months have passed since then, the no-objection certificate is still pending. Phulwarisharif, Danapur and Khagaul nagar panchayats have, however, issued the certificates and work has started in the three areas.
“We had sought the no-objection certificate from the PMC for construction of 30 overhead water tanks.
Though the civic body in-principle agreed to issue the certificates for 14 sites, we have not received a single no-objection certificate till date. Although the consortium of firms selected for this project has started work in the urban local bodies in the outskirts of the capital (Phulwarisharif, Danapur and Khagaul) from March, no progress has been made in the city,” said a senior BUIDCo officer.
Similar is the case with the solid waste management project for Patna. Despite selecting the consortium of Jindal-ITF Limited and MBM-Dallah Waste Management Services for municipal solid waste collection and transportation from 62 wards of Patna on June 29, the project is apparently caught in a limbo because the no-objection certificate has not been issued by the civic body.
“The proposal for issuing no-objection certificate for solid waste management project was supposed to be tabled at the meeting of the standing committee slated on August 8. However, the meeting could not be held because of some reasons. It would now be put up in the next standing committee meeting,” said Chandrma Singh, additional municipal commissioner, PMC.