Likely to be commissioned by January

After being bogged down by the sluggish pace of work, the much-awaited Muttathara sewage treatment plant project is finally showing signs of life, with officials confident that a January 2013 commissioning will be very much on the cards.

Work began last week on the laying of underground power cables from Veli to Muttathara for power supply to the plant, and is expected to be completed in two months. The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) is handling this Rs.3.25-crore component of the project, for which funds were released recently. Kerala Water Authority (KWA) officials said work on laying a pipeline from the existing sewage farm to the upcoming plant too began last week.

The 1200-mm concrete pipes will be laid on a stretch of 942 metres, and the work is expected to be completed in three months. There is a slight hitch though, with a few trees to be removed en route. The KWA officials said the authority had approached the Forest Department for approval, and was confident that the bottleneck would be straightened out within a couple of weeks.

“At the current pace, we expect to finish the work and commission the plant by January 2013,” the officials said.

Work on the Rs.80-crore plant, which will have a capacity of 107 million litres per day but to begin with the 40 MLD that is collected from the city at present, was launched in March 2009. Once the city’s sewage network is expanded, the plant is expected to function at full capacity and meet the city’s sewage disposal requirements for at least 25 years.

The project was slated to be completed by October 2010. However, frequent disruption of work, shortage of supplies, and payment issues between the main contractors and implementation agencies put brakes on the project. The date of completion was later extended to November 2011, but by then only 70 per cent of the work was completed.

Officials from the funding agency, Kerala Sustainable Urban Development Project, and KWA’s Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission unit said the work would be over in three months.