The ongoing work to lay the new 363-km sewer network with sewage treatment plants, wet wells, manholes, and pump houses in the city was expected to be over by April end next. It was taken up under the Asian Development Bank loan.

Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development and Finance Corporation (KUIDFC) is implementing the project for Mangalore City Corporation under a scheme called Karnataka Urban Development and Coastal Environmental Management Project (KUDCEMP).

K.T. Maninarayana, Superintending Engineer, KUIDFC, Mangalore, told The Hindu that the new sewer networks criss-crossing the city had been laid to a length of 350 km, with only 13 km lines pending to be laid. He said that the new sewage treatment plants (STPs) at Jeppinamogaru with 20 MLD (million litres per day) processing capacity and at Surathkal having 16.75 MLD processing capacity were expected to be completed this year end.

The new STP at Kavoor with 43 MLD capacity had been completed and handed over to the Mangalore City Corporation.

The new STP at Pachchanady and a tertiary treatment plant at Pilikula having 8.75 MLD capacity were being operated on a trial basis now.

Mr. Maninarayana said that about 300 houses in Pachchanady area had been given house connections to the sewer network for operating the STP at Panchchanady on a trial basis.

He said of the 22 new wet wells, eight had been commissioned and the remaining were in various stages of completion. “All works will be completed by April end, 2012,” he said.

Mr. Maninarayana said that if all works were to be completed, the Southern Railway would have to clear five proposals relating to land issues. “They are in advanced stages of getting approvals,” he said.

Creating new sewage infrastructure, now at a cost of about Rs. 200 crore was not an easy task for the KUIDFC. Although works commenced in 2003, in reality it took off only in 2007 because of various issues. The corporation had to face some court cases relating to land acquisition. A case went up to the Supreme Court in which the corporation won. The government terminated the contracts of five major contractors in 2006 as they failed to perform. “Hence works actually began in 2007,” he said.

The Superintending Engineer said that geographical features of the land structure here were very tricky.

“Many places having loose soil with water and rock came in the way of laying the networks. A case in point is Malemar and Bangra Kulur areas,” he said.

The expertise of the National Institute of Technology – Karnataka, Surathkal, was used for resolving the problem, he said. In reality, the contractors got only four months of working from January to April as it rained for the remaining months, Mr. Maninarayana said.

He said that once all the works were completed, the contractors would have a year as defect liability period for rectifying the faults.

Mr. Maninarayana said that once all the works were completed, except in some dense areas like Kunjathbail, Baikampady, and Chitrapura, the other dense areas in the jurisdiction of the corporation would be covered with sewer networks. But 25 to 30 per cent of the areas in the limits of the corporation would be left out.

They were not thickly populated, he said.

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