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Japanese agency offers Rs 1,000 crore to check pollution in Mula-Mutha

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on Wednesday signed a loan agreement with the Indian government to provide a soft loan of Rs 1,000 crore (19 billion Yen) for pollution abatement of Mula-Mutha river in Pune under the National River Conservation Plan (NRCP). The Mula-Mutha river at Pune is one of the 302 polluted river stretches of the country identified by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

“It a historic agreement and marks the beginning of a new chapter of cooperation with Japan,” said Prakash Javadekar, Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

The loan bearing a minimal interest rate of 0.30 per cent per annum has to be repaid in 40 years. It includes a 10-year grace period and the project is scheduled to be completed by January 2022.

The loan assistance for the project has been approved by the Union Finance Ministry at an estimated cost of Rs 990.26 crore. The project cost will be shared between Central Government and Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), the implementing agency for the project, in the ratio of 85:15 respectively. The share of Central Government in project will be Rs 841.72 crore and share of PMC would be Rs. 148.54 crore.

The major components proposed under the project include construction of 11 new sewage treatment plants (STPs), which will result in a creation of an additional treatment capacity of 396 mld over the existing treatment capacity of 477 mld, laying of 113.6 kms of sewer lines and renovation/rehabilitation of four existing intermediate pumping stations.

Once the project is complete, the total STP capacity available in Pune will be 873 mld, which will be sufficient to cater to sewage generation for the year. A Project Management Consultant will be appointed by the Ministry, as per JICA guidelines, to assist in the implementation and monitoring of the project.

The project will have a significant, direct beneficial impact in terms of reduction of pollution load in the river and improvement of its water quality. Some of the collateral benefits of the project include use of tertiary treated effluent for irrigation and employment opportunities, particularly in the construction stage. The project will also improve the aesthetics and sanitation of Pune. Biogas (methane) from STPs will be used to generate electricity. To that extent, this will not only be a non-conventional energy source, but will also provide benefits in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions (methane being a greenhouse gas).

The major reasons for pollution of Mula-Mutha are discharge of untreated domestic waste water into the river due to inadequate sewerage system (including pumping stations) and sewage treatment capacity in the town, as well as open defecation on the river banks.

“Signing of the agreement shows the growing cooperation between India and Japan. The project will provide river cleaning and sanitation facility to Pune,” said Ashok Lavasa, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.



Once the project is complete, the total STP capacity available in Pune will be 873 mld



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Printable version | Jan 15, 2021 7:57:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/business/Japanese-agency-offers-Rs-1000-crore-to-check-pollution-in-Mula-Mutha/article13998289.ece

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