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CAG finds many flaws in Delhi sewage management

                                                                                                            The Hindu, New Delhi, 3rd April, 2013

The Delhi Jal Board that is responsible for sewage management in the city has added only one million gallon a day capacity of sewage treatment plant and laid only 900 km of sewer line in the Capital during 2007-2012 after incurring an expenditure of Rs.1,634.18 crore, a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India tabled in the Assembly on Tuesday has stated.

The CAG found the sewage management in the city deficient on various counts, noting that despite heavy spending the DJB was able to collect and treat only 54 per cent of the total sewage generated in the city.

The report said the DJB could not utilise the grants-in-aid received under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission during 2010-11(100 per cent) and 2011-12 (51 per cent).The CAG has criticised the DJB for not preparing any perspective plan for sewage management for the 10th Plan. “Test check of records at 15 out of 32 sewage treatment plants revealed that all STPs were working below their capacities. The DJB was able to collect and treat only 367 MGD out of 680 MGD of sewage generated in Delhi and the remaining sewage was discharged untreated into the Yamuna through storm water drains even after having a sewage treatment capacity of 543.40 MGD,” the report noted.

Delay in award of work for the construction of STPs and sewage pumping stations has led to a cost escalation of Rs. 92.74 crore, non-imposition of penalty for delay in completion of projects led to a loss of Rs. 37.14 crore and the loss due to release of interest-free mobilisation advance to contractors was about Rs. 6.25 crore.

The CAG also expressed reservation about the Jal Board’s ambitious interceptor sewerage system.“The DJB undertook the project of laying of interceptor sewerage system along Najafgarh, Supplementary and Shahadra drains. The DJB appointed Engineers India Limited as consultant and an agreement was signed in January 2008. These projects were approved by the Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure in May 2010 for an approved cost of Rs. 1,337.71 crore with an additional central assistance commitment of Rs.475.20 crore. The audit observed that the consultancy work was awarded to EIL on nomination basis with consultation fee as four per cent against one per cent in other projects . This was in violation of CVC guidelines and led to an extra financial burden on the DJB of Rs. 34.5 crore,” the report cited.