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Lack of funds delaying work on Navelim sewage treatment plant

BY ROQUE DIAS | NT 

MARGAO: Though former chief minister Manohar Parrikar had on February 16, 2014, promised that within a year, a new high-tech sewage treatment plant (STP) of 20 MLD (million litres per day) capacity would be commissioned in Navelim, the Rs 38-crore project has hit a roadblock as the state government is reeling under financial crisis and unable to complete work on the project.According to sources, the contractors, who have been awarded the works, are going slow on the project as the government has failed to pay them on time. As a result, this important project consisting of two waste water pumping stations and a pipeline connecting the Khareband storm water nullah and Salpem Lake to the STP, has remained incomplete despite two years having passed after the laying of the foundation stone when Parrikar had made the promise.

However, the Sewerage and Infrastructure Development Corporation of Goa (SIDC) claims that the “works are going on at a normal pace.”

Parrikar had suggested the 20-MLD sewage treatment plant after the residents of Shirvodem and Navelim areas had complained of unbearable stink of the sewage being released into the Salpem lake through the existing STP at Shirvodem.

“We don’t think the promise made will be kept, at least in this year. We are badly in need of relief at the earliest from the unbearable stink,” said an affected resident Joe Fernandes.

Navelim MLA Avertano Furtado, who had taken the initiative to set up the STP, however, said that he is monitoring the work. “The STP will be completed soon, overcoming all the hurdles,” he said.

Managing director of the SIDC Arvind Patil said 60 per cent of the work on the plant has been completed. He said the STP will cater to the sewage disposal needs of the people of Fatorda, Margao and Navelim. “There were several reasons for the delay including permission for digging of road,” he said without any mention to the financial crisis. He further said that the original 20-year-old STP at Shirvodem is in a deteriorating condition.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency’s (JICA) new 7-MLD plant and the 20-MLD STP plant constructed by the state government would solve all the sewage-related problems of the three constituencies of Fatorda, Margao and Navelim. The state government will launch a door-to-door campaign for the sewerage connections, once the project is completed.

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