Tuesday, 13 October 2020

STP (Ghotala) Series--Part 3



STP (Ghotala) Series--Part 3

Rs. 2 crores per MLD for a project size of 150 MLD in Delhi

Rs. 9 crores per MLD for 360 MLD project in MUMBAI 😡😤😵

For the uninitiated, STP projects have been going around since the time IAS Rajiv Jalota has been the Additional Municipal Commissioner i.e. almost 8 years ago. Due to various discrepancies done in the bid in connivance with the consultant 'Mott' along with our Pune Businessman who of late has become MP, Mr Jalota kept the project in abeyance. It was retrieved later by IAS Dr. Sanjay Mukherjee who took over the charge from him.

Dr Sanjay Mukherjee to his credit removed the first successful bid in 2018 which was covering all aspects of CVC but what he missed out was the regressive order of the NGT which was earlier BOD 20 mg/l or less and TSS 50 mg/l or less and then later was changed to BOD 10 mg/l or less and TSS 20 mg/l or less. This above change happened after the bids were submitted and so many contractors didn’t agree to do the plant in the same quoted amount catering to the new parameters hence the bids were recalled. The shocking thing however was that instead of supporting NGTs order which made effluent outlet parameter stricter thereby saving the environment, MCGM was the only Organization to move the Supreme Court against it. I yet wonder why? Might be helpful if the new young Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray to find out for his own consumption as to why the order helpful for the environment was challenged?

 God alone knows what happened after 2018 but from that time onward almost twice the bids were uploaded and recalled, each time the bids been called by different specifications but the same old consultants. When the bids called by Mr Mukherjee had received good response why the specifications were changed time again is what baffled me! Only the output parameter needed to be changed as per the new NGT norms and the tender uploaded but then that was not done.

So, in 2018 MCGM had consortium of three JV partners allowed in which one had to have the financial prowess with the requisite project management skills, the other needed to possess skill set of having successfully completed & operating an STP plant of the desired outlet quality while the third was to be a technology provider having provided the technology for a working plant having the desired outlet quality. This above complied with the CVC condition of having similar experiences and made the bidder responsible for having the past capability and expertise apart from their financial prowess to quote for such prestigious project.

 So, what had changed from 2018 was, very conveniently the need for the past expertise and capability of an STP contractor was removed and only the association of a Large infrastructure company and technology provider was enough. MLD sizes of projects were tweaked and parameters were changed so that Indian technology providers & STP contractors who had worked in India were not able to get qualified. In the guise of open technology, specifications were so tweaked to favour only & only one technology. The land loading criteria was injected to favour a Chinese company disguised as a Singaporean firm. It was earlier limited to only two STP projects i.e. Bandra & Worli and as the relationship grew cosier the land loading criteria was extended to all the projects in the recent bids. God, MCGM sure gives a chance for the department and the consultants to do research and development at the cost of the tax payers money. If the land loading criteria was so important and would save money why no action was proposed on the consultants or the department of not thinking it earlier??? It is evident that the R&D done by the consultants and the department was only for tilting the balance in favour of certain few.

The estimate stated was abnormal as compared to the current trend in India. Here it is very important to note that in case of STP projects the price is inversely proportional to the size of the project i.e. the bigger the size in MLD the lower the price. So, considering the ongoing price at 2cr per MLD for a project size of 120 MLD to 150 MLD, the current estimate at Rs 9cr/ MLD for 360 MLD project at Dharavi is way too abnormal but might be for a towel making company trying to do an STP plant for the first time such expenditure can be justified for his attempt at trial and error.

The above all abnormalities has quirked my interest and the journalist in me was forced to find out the truth. What I was able to find out will amaze all of you? So be tuned in as I take you in the subsequent blogs where I unearth the wrong doings in the so far biggest STP project in MCGM. Keep reading!!!

Vikrant Hemant Joshi 

 


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