The onset of the rains is expected to cause further delay

Differences between the Dindigul Municipality and the contractor are said to be the cause for the inordinate delay in the completion of the underground drainage project, stalled for the past six years.

The State government had granted administrative sanction and allocated Rs.23.76 crore for the project on September 23, 2005. The work commenced in 2007 and with cost escalation, the project estimate was revised to Rs.46.15 crore in December 2009.

The Dindigul municipality had planned to implement the first part of the UGD project in three phases in 22 out of the total 48 wards. It took six years to complete the first and final phases, but the second phase hit a road block.

In the first phase, drainage pipes were laid in 11 wards. In the second phase, pipes should have been laid in 11 wards, but the work remains incomplete.

In the third phase, a 13.65-MLD (million litre per day ) capacity common sewage treatment plant was commissioned, and its trial run was conducted at Pallapatti.

Treated water will be discharged into the Moongil Kulam, 2 km away from Pallapatti.

The work to connect individual houses to the main pipeline has been pending in the first and second phases. In the first phase, the municipality was scheduled to provide connection to 3,296 houses.

But it has covered just 1,427 houses. In the second phase, the municipality aimed to provide connections to 10,700 houses, but covered only 3,805 houses. The laying of the 24.76-km- long pipeline is still pending.

The onset of the rains is expected to cause further delay.

“We do not know when the municipality will extend the UGD project to the rest of the wards,” official sources admit.

Municipal Chairman V. Marudha Raj told The Hindu that though the second phase of work had been stopped temporarily, the contractor had been advised to restart the work and if he failed to do so the Municipal Council would take the matter up with the Commissioner for Municipal Administration. At present, the municipality had been renovating rainwater drainage channels to prevent stagnation of water, he added.

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