Having missed two deadlines the ongoing underground drainage (UGD) scheme still faces bottlenecks.

About 80 per cent of the sewer lines have been laid and 60 per cent of the roads dug up restored in the Rs.240 crore project taken up under the centrally-sponsored Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.

The work has been taken up in four packages with a cost of Rs.240 crore and so far work worth Rs.150 crore has been completed.

The entire scheme was slated for completion in March 2010 but had been given an extension for completion by March 2011. That too passed.

Having launched projects worth more than Rs.1,800 crore under JNNURM, Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation faced a massive fund crunch. “There has been a problem with regard to funds. We still owe the contractors between Rs.20 crore and Rs.25 crore,” admits GVMC Chief Engineer B. Jayarami Reddy.

UGD is required where there has been vertical growth but there generally will be delay when taken up within the city, he says. The delay has also been due to the nature of the terrain in the city. Several areas have rock up to 2 mt and for UGD digging has to be taken up between 4 m and 5 m. Blasting can not be taken up thus making the work difficult.

Logistic problems like site not being handed over to the agency for taking up the work add to the timeline stretching. A pump house in the NAD-Simhachalam area is caught in one such dispute.

Besides, at 14 points permission has been sought from the East Coast Railway to lay pipes across the railway line. “Though we have applied two-and-a -half years ago, only two, three permissions have been given and the remaining pending at the ECoR headquarters at Bhubaneshwar,” Mr. Jayarami Reddy says.

Also there has been much delay in finalising the site for sewage treatment plant and finally it has been taken up at Narava. Work has been going on creating an STP with 50 mld capacity that will meet the needs till 2027. The plan is to have a plant that has 108 mld capacity projected to meet needs till 2040.

At the current pace of work, officials hope to complete the UGD work by June, 2012. In some parts like Visakalakshminagar and Mudasarlova it has been completed and linked to the sewage treatment plants. The Arilova area is connected to the 13 mld STP at Mudarsarlova but connections have to be taken by residents for which some enforcement is required. Most of the One Town area has been covered and connected to the improved STP with increased capacity in the area.

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