Diversion of funds delays work to lay underground sewer line to Ondipudur

Failure by the Coimbatore Corporation to feed sewage to the Ondipudur sewage treatment plant has ensured that the asset remains underutilised.  

For over five years, the sewage treatment plant in Ondipudur is lying idle. The plant with capacity to treat 60 million litres a day is treating only around two million litres a day because the Coimbatore Corporation is yet to lay the underground sewer line to take sewage to the plant.

The Corporation began in 2019 the work to lay the main sewer line below the Trichy Road to take sewage from areas east and south of Lakshmi Mills Junction to the treatment plant. But, it has not yet completed the work.

Sources in the Corporation said the delay was because there was diversion of funds meant for the sewer line work to other works. The Corporation that had obtained funds from the Central and State governments under the then Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) for the underground sewer line work had diverted it to its general fund to carry out other works.

This diversion came to light recently during a meeting senior officers held to review the progress made in various projects and speed up projects in progress, the sources said.

The diversion was to the tune of a few crore rupees.

The Corporation was now trying to mobilise resources under various heads like property tax to improve its fund position under the ‘general fund’ head to divert it back to the JNNURM fund to carry out the work.

The diversion meant that the Corporation could not pay the contractor it had engaged to lay the main sewer line. At the time of starting the sewer line work, the Corporation had estimated the project cost at ₹30 crore to lay pipeline for around 5 km.

The cost included the money the Corporation had to pay to the National Highways for digging up the road to lay the sewer line.

The sources said the Corporation hoped to retransfer the fund to the JNNURM account in the near future as it wanted the work to be completed so that it could start giving underground sewer connections to residents in the east and central part of the city.

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Printable version | Sep 25, 2021 9:16:29 AM |

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