Once again, PCB turns to civic body for sewage links

As the board’s land hunt for sewage treatment plants comes to a standstill, it tries to bank on PMC for connection of their old system for disposal
The Pune Cantonment Board’s (PMC) yearlong quest for finding appropriate land in Wanowrie and Ghorpadi for setting up of sewage treatment plants (STP) has come to a grinding halt. The lands that were being sized for the set-up, fall under the defence jurisdictions, rendering them unfeasible. Given the prevailing circumstances, the PCB chief in the board meeting has now turned to the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) for aid.In a bid to refurbish the old brick and mortar underground sewage system, the PCB has asked the civic body to link their sewage system to the Bhiaroba STP in Koregaon Park. A similar request was raised in 2009 to no avail, thus leading to mixing of untreated water with Mula-Mutha River. The memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the two parties had requested linking the pipes to Manik Nala -a proposal that was stalled due to unavailability of land and finance.

Currently, the current situation of replacing the old structure with concrete pipes is getting no headway in Ghorpadi and Wanowrie areas, after the chief executive officer (CEO), D N Yadav, announced non-availability of land. He said, “It is difficult to get space in the area as it is prime defence A1 land in the area, which is not feasible for STP.“

Yadav does not want to count “previous attempts“ at linking facilities and looks forward to a fresh start even as the PCB owes the civic body a sum of Rs 10 crore for using its water facilities.

“I do not think that our pending charges would be the reason for the PMC to deny our proposal. I am optimistic about our efforts this time,“ he said. About previous attempts, chief executive en gineer V G Kulkarni said that they couldn’t materialise as the PCB did not follow up with the proposals. “This time, if it all we are going to link the system to the STPs, we will have to decide on rates and other technical feasibilities.“

For all these years, the sewage pipeline is connected to the Bhairoba Nala, which evacuates in the Mula-Mutha river, thereby polluting the river.Several ecological problems like eutrophication -increase in concentration of chemical elements required for life -have resulted out of unprecedented dumping. The nitrates, phosphates, and organic matter found in human waste, serve as a food for algae and bacteria. This causes these organisms to overpopulate to a point where they use up most of the dissolved oxygen that is naturally found in water, making it difficult for other organisms in this aquatic environment to live.

Residents have time and again complained about issues with the old system that have hampered their day-to-day activities. Vaishnavi Shinde, a resident of Wanowrie, said, “Old sewage pipe lines often choke up. Then, we have to call PCB staff for repairs. There are times when these pipes are repeatedly clogged much to our irritation. This needs a permanent solution.“

Source : Mirror