Half of Mumbai's sewage goes untreated into the sea, Comptroller and Auditor General nails BMC

Nearly 49 per cent of the sewage is outside the sewage collection system and is released without being treated, the CAG has said in its report on Local Bodies for the year ended March 31, 2016.

Published: 11th August 2017 06:23 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th August 2017 06:23 PM   |  A+A-

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By Express News Service

MUMBAI: The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has called out the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on its lackluster attitude towards collection and treatment of sewage.

Nearly 49 per cent of the sewage is outside the sewage collection system and is released without being treated, the CAG has said in its report on Local Bodies for the year ended March 31, 2016, which was tabled in both Houses of Maharashtra Legislature on Friday.

The report stated that Mumbai generated 2,146 million litres per day (MLD), of which only 1,098 MLD of sewage was being treated while the remaining 1,048 MLD (49 per cent) sewage was outside the sewage collection system and discharged into the sea/creeks without treatment.

"This combined with poor treatment of sewage at four of seven Waste Water Treatment Facilities (WWTF) was polluting the sea water. As a result, the Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) level of the sea had increased (2011-13)," said the report.

This ranged between 10.9 mg/l and 13 mg/l against the desired level of 3 mg/l as per the Environment Protection Rules, 1986 and consent issued by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board to the BMC.

"This was due to inadequate coverage of sewage network and low capacity utilization of treatment facilities," the report stated.

Sewer lines proposed under the master plan and feasibility works undertaken by the Sewage Project (SP) were executed to the extent of 43.06 per cent (49.81 kms out of 115.67 kms).

Similarly, only 17 per cent work of rehabilitation of old lines was executed and no improvement took place in WWTFs.

The rate analysis of composite items of works prepared by SP and Sewarage Operation (SO) was found faulty in many cases leading to excess/overpayment to the contractor.

Besides, the composite rates quoted by bidders were not properly analysed along with supporting documents before finalisation of the contracts. Instead, the department concerned negotiated with the lowest bidders on huge sums of money resulting in contracts at higher rates.

For slum rehabilitation, the BMC did not prepare comprehensive plans in coordination with the NGOs. The works executed did not meet the norms.

Of the total 477 work orders issued (between 2006 and 2015), 134 work orders were cancelled and ,5797 toilet streets were constructed leaving a deficit of 20,195 toilet seats as on March 2016.

"This defeated the objective of containing open defecation. The slow progress in construction of toilet blocks and connecting them to existing sewer lines resulted in continued discharge of untreated sewage into open nullahs/creeks/sea.

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