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Long wait likely for UGD

S. Ramesh
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Underground sewage system project drags on in Erode

Causing inconvenience:The road infrastructure in Erode town remain in a shambles following the inordinate delay in the implementation of Under Ground Drainage Project. -PHOTO: M.GOVARTHAN
Causing inconvenience:The road infrastructure in Erode town remain in a shambles following the inordinate delay in the implementation of Under Ground Drainage Project. -PHOTO: M.GOVARTHAN

People in Erode town, it seems, have to wait for at least another three years to have a working underground sewage system as the Erode Corporation's ambitious UGD project drags on.

The civic body had divided the underground drainage (UGD) project into five packages and commenced the works listed in two of them in January 2010.

Two years had passed and the civic body could not even complete the two packages (Package I and III).

Under Package I, it was planned to lay sewer pipelines to a length of 210 km.

But the contractor had laid pipelines to a length of about 50 km so far. Under Package III, pipelines were laid to a length of 80 km as against the target of 105 km.

According to the project documents, pipelines should be laid for 504.4 km. But the civic body laid pipelines only to a length of 130 km under the two packages.

The remaining three packages (Package II, IV and V) are gathering dust in the Corporation offices.

“Whenever we raise a question about these packages, the civic officials say the packages are being reviewed by the tender award committee. We don't know how long the committee is going to take to review,” many Corporation councillors say.

Meanwhile, the implementation of the two packages of the project has left the road infrastructure in most parts of the town in a shambles.

Though it was specified in the project documents that the contractor should carry out patch works after laying the pipelines, the damaged roads were not repaired properly.

“The workers close the trenches with sand and do not turn up to black-top the roads properly,” S. Karthi, a trader, points out.

Battered roads

People are growing anxious about the completion of the project as they are forced to travel on the severely-battered roads every day.

“We want the Corporation to complete the project soon and re-lay the roads immediately. Travelling on the heavily-damaged stretches is a nightmarish experience,” says C. Richard, a resident in Surampatty.

Corporation sources, however, said the civic body would require at least another three years to complete the project.

“We have received the approval from the Corporation council for Package II recently. The Package V is being reviewed by the tender award committee. Meanwhile, the committee has forwarded the Package IV to the government for its approval. Even if the implementation of all these three packages commence this year, it will take at least 36 months to complete,” a senior official said on condition of anonymity.

Civic officials assured that the damaged roads in the town would be tar-topped soon.

“We received Rs. 27 crore from the State government to tar-top the roads, which were damaged for laying the underground pipelines,” they said.

Work on project has left the road infrastructure in most parts of the town in poor shape

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