‘Award of work for revamping water supply violates rules’

A non-government organisation working in the water sector has alleged misappropriation of funds by the Delhi Jal Board in the award of work for improvement and revamping of existing water supply, transmission and distribution network under the Nagloi Water Treatment Plant.

Comparing the size and the scope of the project with design, construction, installation, commissioning, operation and maintenance of intake of a 50 MGD WTP and water supply distribution network in the city of Patna, the NGO has claimed that over Rs.1,000 crore are being misappropriated through the execution of the project in Nangloi.

Work for the Nangloi project was approved by the Jal Board at a meeting held on October 26.

“The project in Delhi is only improvement and revamping, a major chunk of the work to be undertaken is already executed, where as in Patna the project requires building from scratch, yet the difference in money being spent is a whopping Rs.1000 crore,” alleged S.A. Naqvi, convenor of NGO Citizens Front for Water Democracy.

The NGO claims the capital cost on Patna Water Supply Project is only Rs. 476.94 crore that includes construction of 50 MGD WTP, 68 MGD Raw Water Pump House with vertical turbine pumps, new transmission and distribution mains along 900 km, design, construction of 72 overhead tanks, 25 new tube wells, rehabilitation of 16 existing tube wells with DG sets, commissioning of 1,20,000 service connections, 50 stand-posts and operations and maintenance for 11 years plus a two-year construction period.

“If the Nangloi project is compared with the one in Patna, it is one-third the capital work, but the capital cost is Rs. 652.32 crore. The total project cost including operation and maintenance in Patna is Rs. 548.83 crore (Rs. 476.94 + 71.89 crore) against Rs. 1552.32 crore (Rs. 652.32 + Rs. 14.99 per KL of billed and paid volume which comes to more than 900 crore) in Nagloi,” said Mr. Naqvi.

Difference

The NGO claims PPP projects that the Board has announced in Nangloi, Vasant Vihar and Malviya Nagar have been “designed and estimated at higher costs to extend financial benefits to perspective bidders”.

“In all these projects the contract agreements, terms and conditions are drafted and made to extend benefit to the contractors not public. All these projects are not transparent, they violate established rules and regulations,” Mr. Naqvi said.

“If we compare both the project (Nagloi in Delhi and Patna in Bihar) the difference in operation and maintenance cost alone is more than 12 times. Whereas the Patna project is much bigger and larger than Nangloi project in terms of quantity of water, number of water connections and services to consumers. The project area of the plant in Patna is 225 sq km where as in Delhi it is 129 sq km. In Patna about 120,000 new connections are being serviced, in Delhi is it meant for just 68,000.”

For her part, Delhi Jal Board Chief Executive Officer Debashree Mukherhee said she cannot comment on the allegations because she was yet to verify the calculations that the NGO has put forth.

“I don’t know the basis on which these calculations have been made and how similar these projects really are,” she added.

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