PMC’s Ambitious Plan: Doubling Sewage Treatment Capacity to Ensure Clean Water Discharge into Mula-Mutha River

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has taken steps to enhance the sewage treatment capacity in order to ensure that clean water is discharged into the Mula-Mutha river. This decision comes after facing criticism for its environmental approach in the Mula-Mutha riverfront beautification project. The PMC plans to double its sewage treatment capacity by increasing the number of sewage treatment plants (STPs) from 10 to 29 in the coming years.

The implementation of the new STPs will significantly increase the treatment capacity from the current 576 million liters per day (MLD) to 1,125 MLD, according to officials. One of the existing 10 STPs will be reconstructed, and another 11 STPs with a total capacity of 396 MLD will be set up with funding from the Japan International Cooperative Agency (JICA). Additionally, two new STPs will be constructed to cater to the needs of 11 villages that recently merged with the civic body. A detailed project report for the construction of seven additional STPs to serve 23 villages that merged with the civic limits two years ago has also been finalized.

Municipal Commissioner Vikram Kumar stated that the PMC is now focused on ensuring that the river has clean water and that this objective will be pursued in conjunction with the riverfront development project. Construction of the 11 STPs funded by JICA has already commenced, and plans for expanding the number of STPs to meet future requirements have been established.

The PMC is also in discussions with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to secure a loan for the construction of seven STPs for the 23 villages. The detailed project report outlines the locations and capacities of these STPs, including two in Wagholi, and one each in Mundhwa, Pisoli, Nanded, Holkarwadi, and Manjari Budhruk, totaling 146.50 MLD. The PMC will also lay a drainage line network of 841.44 km to support these plants. The total cost of the project is estimated at Rs 1,270 crore, and the PMC is optimistic about obtaining the necessary funds through a loan from the IFC.

In 2017, when 11 new villages were merged with the city, the PMC devised a sewage treatment plan that includes the construction of two new plants in Keshavnagar and Manjari with a combined capacity of 105.5 MLD. These plants will be funded through the PMC’s budget, ensuring that work can commence soon, according to Jagdish Khanore, PMC Superintendent Engineer.

The construction of the 11 new STPs funded by JICA has already begun and is expected to be completed by March 2025, following a revised timeline. Technical issues caused some delays, but the project is now back on track. The project cost has increased from Rs 990 crore to Rs 1,173 crore, with an additional Rs 250 crore allocated for operation and maintenance over the next 15 years, added Khanore.

The river beautification project aims to enhance a 44 km stretch of the Mula-Mutha river that passes through the Pune city limits. The project includes provisions for continuous access with walking and cycling pathways, 16 new boating facilities, an increase in the number of ghats to 40, and the addition of more eateries to enhance the overall experience for residents and visitors alike.

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