MANGALORE: With the 355-km underground drainage (UGD) network in the city expected to be completed by this month end, the focus will now shift to connecting individual dwellings and commercial units to this network.
The Mangalore City Corporation (MCC), which will be the custodian of this network, is now left with the task of formulating a policy to support interconnection to the network.
Laid under the ADB-assisted Karnataka Urban Development and Coastal Environmental Management Project executed by the Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development and Finance Corporation, the work on it started in December 2003.
A decade later, bugged by delays – most of them pertaining to land acquisition – the network is finally getting completed. The four sewage treatment plants (STPs) at Kavoor, Pachchanady, Bajal and Suratkal are ready. Of these, the 43.5 MLD STP at Kavoor and 8.75 MLD STP at Pachchanady have been commissioned. The 20 MLD plant at Bajal and 16.5 MLD STP at Suratkal will be commissioned soon, subject to power connection there.
A majority of 22 wet wells, which are integral to the success of the network crisscrossing the city, too are ready and nine of them have been commissioned and the rest are ready for commissioning. The work on the wet well at Kodialguthu bogged down by litigation too is expected to commence soon.
Incidentally, the KUDCEM project started when J R Lobo was the commissioner of MCC. Now a decade later, Lobo has been elected Mangalore City South MLA and is faced with the challenge of ensuring that this asset created for the city corporation is put to optimal use.
Observing that the connections to the UGD network should have started by now, Lobo said that he has given directions to the corporation officials on how to go about this task.
MCC commissioner K Harish Kumar said the contractors are carrying out trial runs in places where work is complete. “Once the trial runs are successful, the MCC will take possession of the network,” he added.
On the lack of policy for connecting individual stakeholders to the network and its economics, Harish said it is left to the newly elected council to take a call on it. “We are providing connections in select areas at a nominal fee,” he added.