Sewerage Project Phase-I to be completed by Dec this year

Extension up to Bantalab awaits funding

Sanjeev K. Sharma

JAMMU, Sept 9: The much talked about sewerage network project which involves laying of sewerage pipes in east and west areas of Jammu city to collect household wastes to ultimately reach Sewerage Treatment Plant (STP) in Bhagwati Nagar is likely to be completed in December this year 2018.
Sources informed the Excelsior that the sewerage collected from Jammu city reaches STP at Bhagwati Nagar which has a collection capacity of 30 MLD (Million Litres per Day). After proper treatment at STP, the clear water is drained out in river Tawi while the solid waste which becomes organic manure is given to forest and agriculture departments for use.
Though the project targets waste collection from 35,000 households, it has already completed 31,000 as of now and the remaining target is likely to be met by this year end.
Presently the sewerage network project is in its final stage in Jammu West as work is in full swing at Pamposh Colony in Janipur area.
Sources said the project has already missed many deadlines due to non-timely funding and now after it gets completed by this year end, it will be handed over to Urban Environmental Engineering Department (UEED) for its operation and maintenance.
The project has been externally funded by the Asian Development Bank and work on it was started in the year 2009.
“Another reason for the delay in completion of the project was that its pace was very poor in Janipur area and the contractor responsible for that was removed after which he approached the court of law,” sources said adding that the court soon cleared the case and the work proceeded further but by then most of the pipes were laid and some connections were also completed.
Though the project is almost complete in Jammu West area, same is not the case in East.
Sources informed that even the laying of sewer pipes has not been done in certain areas of Jammu East like Krishna Nagar and some adjoining localities, while at other areas like Bhagwati Nagar the project has even started functioning to collect sewer wastes at another STP also in Bhagwati Nagar with a capacity of 27 MLD.
Initial expenditure of the East Jammu project was Rs 132 crores but only Rs 100 crore were sanctioned for it by the authorities.
UEED is accomplishing the project at Jammu east via its agency NBCC while in Jammu west ERA is doing the work.
The Jammu East areas covered by sewer network include Panjtirthi, Shakuntla area, Jewel, Krishna Nagar, Resham Ghar Colony etc.
When contacted, Executive Engineers ERA, Rajesh Gupta who is also Manager of this Project for Jammu west informed that the project for Jammu west is being completed with a budget of Rs 153 crore while for STP there was an additional budget of Rs 32 crore.
He further informed that in Jammu West the project covers Bakshi Nagar, Rehari, Sarwal, Shiv Nagar, Lower Shiv Nagar, Shanti Nagar, Subash Nagar, New Plots, Janipur, Janipur Colony, Pamposh Colony, some parts of Paloura, Patoli etc.
“Janipur Colony is the borderline of this project and presently work is going on there,” he said.
He further informed that apart from this, sewerage drained out in some 17 prominent Nallahs in Jammu west have also been connected with the sewerage network.
These nallahs include that of Doordarshan lane, Shakti Nagar etc.
On popular public cry of sub-standard work in laying sewerage network, he informed that after laying sewer-line the restoration is temporarily done.
“That means we go for one inch premixing after digging. The motive is that if any fault appears in the system we may easily dig and correct it which otherwise, if was done by very strong concrete work would have made fault corrections process difficult and time consuming. Once all this is ‘tested ok’ final stabilization will be done and after that it will prove to be a good project for our people,” he said.
On bumps created on roads and in streets due to manholes which make roads accident prone, he said that soon the manholes will be covered by florescent paints to avoid accidents at night.
He further said that the manholes are slightly raised above the road so that rain water does not enter in them but when Public Work Department (PWD) digs and repairs the roads, the same manhole gets depressed and we have to dig the road to uncover it for cleaning.
“Soon the PWD will be asked to take care of that while laying roads,” he said.
He also asked the public not to throw solid wastes like construction wastes, poly bags, garbage etc into the sewerage pipes as it blocks the network creating many problems.
Gupta further said that the sewerage network will be extended till Ban Talab under a fresh project with an additional cost of Rs 300 crore.
“It will include Roop Nagar, Ban Talab, Keran etc and work on it will start after the funds are made available for that,” he said.
On benefits of this project, he said that this will be the first step towards establishing Smart City and is an important parameter for that.
“When this project will start properly functioning it will reduce pollution and overflow of drains,” he said, adding: “We are only collecting used water from kitchen, toilet and washroom wastes which will ultimately leave the drains dry. With dry drains there will be no mosquito breeding so health hazards will automatically end.”
“This way only the used water after cleaning floor apart from the rain water will be left in drains,” he said.
“Also open defecation will end with this project’s success,” he maintained.
However, the ground reality is that manholes of sewerage network are mostly seen overflowing at many places in the city and dirty water coming from them spreading on the roads.
During rains this dirty water even enters residential houses at some places thereby damaging property.
A lane in Janipur area was recently fully damaged while many vehicles parked on it also bore the brunt of the heavy rainfall whose affect was amplified by the blocked overflowing sewerage network manholes.
Apart from this, people in other parts of Jammu city like Rehari, New Plot etc have many times complained about overflowing of the sewer-line manholes even when there are no rains and all the dirty water coming out from these manholes, spreading on roads and streets making it difficult to walk from there.
Whenever some vehicle passes through such overflowing dirty water it splashes all the muck on whosoever is passing through that particular road or street.
When contacted, Majid Wani, Director ERA told the Excelsior that people throw plastic bags in sewer-pipes which blocks due to which, dirty water comes out on roads.
“Still our men always remain on the job to clear such blockages,” he further said.
He informed that while clearing such blockages at certain places they even found gunny bags blocking the sewerage pipes.
“Even our domestic drainage system gets blocked if we throw plastics in it and same is the case here too,” he maintained.
He also informed that the sewerage network will soon be handed over to JMC and UEED for maintenance and operation after proper repairs and clearing all the blockages.
When asked if it is a failed project, the Director replied in negative saying if the same project is running good in other big cities how can it be a failed project here.
About future of the sewer-line project in Jammu he said if public cooperates, after two or three years this project will run smoothly and will surely prove to be a boon.
“It was a big project for Jammu and we are lucky to have it in our city but the only thing is that we need to be aware on its usage,” the ERA Director said.