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    Muttemwar saves crores of Govt money, exposes NMC-private player nexus on sewage treatment plants

    The NMC’s new definition for PPP stands Prospering Private Players. And the words in the new definition are very much true if the NMC’s proposed filthy plan to increase existing sewage treatment plant of 80 MLD capacity to 200 MLD on PPP model is looked into with details. The proposal is short of a well-planned scam to benefit private players and the planners, too. Muttemwar said he did not oppose the plan for the sake of only opposition. He came out with a well-studied facts and figures to show that the NMC plan is nothing but a scam in the pipeline.

    Nagpur News: The Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s (NMC), it appears, has given a new definition to Public Private Partnership (PPP). The NMC’s new definition for PPP stands Prospering Private Players. And the words in the new definition are very much true if the NMC’s proposed filthy plan to increase existing sewage treatment plant of 80 MLD capacity to 200 MLD on PPP model is looked into with details. The proposal is short of a well-planned scam to benefit private players and the planners, too.

    However, Nagpur MP Vilas Muttemwar smelled a rat in the NMC plan, and, in the nick of time, played a spoilsport thus exposing the game plan of the players to gobble up crores in the name of development of a sort.

    According to Muttemwar, the Nagpur Municipal Corporation has come up with yet another Public Private Partnership (PPP) project. This time the project is related to sewage treatment and proposal to augment the existing 80 million liters per day (MLD) sewage treatment plant (STP) to 200 MLD. However, the Nagpur MP vociferously opposed the plan and met the NMC Commissioner Shyam Wardhane in this connection. He asked Wardhane to dump the plan into the sewage plant so that the “ugly” players could not raise their heads again.

    Muttemwar said he did not oppose the plan for the sake of only opposition. He came out with a well-studied facts and figures to show that the NMC plan is nothing but a scam in the pipeline. He elaborated the facts and figures in the best professional way. Following are some of the points:

    1)       According to the NMC’s data, 80 MLD sewage water is treated at existing STP situated at Bhandewadi. Second STP with 130 MLD capacity is under construction at Bhandewadi and approved by the Central Government under JNNURM. Apart from these, NMC issued work orders to construct four small STPs with installed capacity to treat 5 MLD each which count to 20 MLD. Thus, the NMC’s existing and under-construction capacity comes to 230 MLD.

    2)      According to the proposal on the Standing Committee’s agenda dated July 12, 2013 and also passed in the Standing Committee meeting dated February 25, 2013, the existing quantum of sewage water is 345 MLD. The NMC is expecting increase in quantum of sewage to 510.52 MLD by 2026. Thus, NMC will require STPs with capacity to treat 280.52 MLD sewage water. This would ensure infrastructure to meet the requirement of 2026.

    3)      In the Standing committee meeting dated February 25, 2013, a proposal was passed to construct STPs with installed capacity to treat 350 MLD (200 MLD for North Sewage Zone and 150 MLD for South Sewage Zone) along with sewage system of 1,747.38 km. Funds of Rs 1,328.88 crore were approved and sought under the Central Government’s JNNURM scheme. The general body also approved the proposal followed by the State Government. To get sanction under JNNURM scheme, the State Government submitted the proposal and is pursuing very seriously. If the proposal is approved, the total existing, under construction and approved capacity will increase to 580 MLD (350 proposed under JNNURM and 230 existing and under construction). Thus, the requirement for 2026 will be fulfilled completely.

    4)      The new proposal to enhance the existing STP from 80 MLD to 200 MLD under PPP model proves to be of no use. The proposal should be scrapped as not required at all. Already, the NMC and citizens are facing the brunt of PPP projects. The Starbus project, operated by Vansh Nimay Infratech Ltd, and 24×7 water supply project handled by the Orange City Water (OCW) are proving to be white elephants. Considering the past experience, the PPP model is nothing but handing over public money, public property and public resources into private hands. Considering the past and current experiences, this PPP model project stands unjustified.

    5)       The above mentioned four points are enough to prove that the proposal required to be quashed. Still, we will like to threw light on few points mentioned in the proposal and hints out at a big scam incurring loss of public money, public property, public resources etc. The proposal is to be constructed STP by raising 70% loan and 30% contribution by the private PPP operator. This loan has to be raised by the private PPP operator itself. Thus, it is amply clear that 100% investment will be of private PPP operator. Then why it is required to mention about 70% to be raised through loans? It hints out that the private PPP operator will raise 70% of total cost through loans and remaining 30% to be black money. Or it hints out that the private PPP operator will raise loans of 70% on the behalf of NMC which would be a massive financial burden on the NMC.

    6)       The variation in the cost of STP projects’ cost seems to be a big irregularity. All the proposals are prepared by only one department-Pench Project Cell but the rates differ to a great extent. Thus showing crystal clearly and cleanly that fishy deals are in progress only beneficial to private players and, the planners, too. It is nothing less than a big scam.

    7)       The proposal also seeks approval to issue work order to a joint venture of Vishwaraj Infrastructure Limited (VIL), Drake and Scull Water and Power LLC-Vasundhara Drills and Drainage Private Limited as emerged lowest bidder in tendering process. VIL is also 50% partner in private water operator Orange City Water Private Limited (OCW) which too is on PPP model. The NMC and people from the city are evident to flop show of OCWL. Besides, the Standing Committee accorded approval to give work order of Dhanaganj Shopping Mall on March 28, 2011. The NMC issued letter of acceptance to VIL on April 5, 2011 giving 15 days time for depositing the premium amount of Rs 6 crore followed by agreement. Over 15 months passed away, VIL has not signed the agreement and deposited the amount of Rs 6 crore. Thus, the VIL is ineligible for existing project and no hope for performing in more projects. All the private players have proved themselves of failure on their respective fronts.


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