Delay in Approval for STP at Agricultural College's Botanical Garden

State biodiversity board will be instructed by forest department to give clear orders for allocating space for STP, which will then complete final approval process
File Photo
File Photo

Pune: The construction of the Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) at the Botanical Garden in the Agricultural College has yet to receive final approval.

The state biodiversity board will soon be instructed by the forest department to give clear orders for allocating space for the STP, which will then complete the final approval process.

While the central government is eager to proceed with this environmentally friendly project, various state government departments have been delaying the final approval.

The central government, with financial assistance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), is implementing a project to treat wastewater in the city.

This project includes the establishment of 11 STPs across the city, with the municipal corporation already progressing on 10 of them. However, the STP at the Botanical Garden remains stalled.

The site at the Botanical Garden already houses a pumping station, reserved by the municipal corporation for the sewage treatment project and an access road.

However, since the state forest department declared this area as a biodiversity heritage site, technical issues have arisen for the municipal corporation.

Despite the central government's review and suggestions to the state government to resolve the issue, the final approval has not been granted.

In December, a meeting with senior officials from various departments was held in the office of the Principal Secretary of the Forest Department in Mumbai. The municipal corporation submitted a revised proposal through the state biodiversity board in Nagpur.

Approval Still Pending

The state biodiversity board responded positively on March 19, 2024, stating there were no objections to allocating space for the project. Despite this, no further progress has been made in the past four months.

Municipal officials met with the state chief secretary and the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests in late June, only to be informed that there were no clear orders from the biodiversity board. As of now, the forest department has yet to send the required letter to the state biodiversity department. This delay raises questions about when the project will finally begin.

"Efforts are ongoing with various state government departments to secure approval for the STP at the Botanical Garden, but it has not yet been granted," stated Prashant Waghmare, Chief Engineer, Pune Municipal Corporation

Consequences of STP Delays

  • Increased costs for the STP

  • Significant delays in project completion

  • Substantial increase in river pollution due to untreated sewage

  • Long-term adverse effects on agriculture near the river

  • Major health impacts on farmers

Progress on Other STP Projects

  • 70 per cent completion for STPs in Warje, Wadgaon, Kharadi, Mundhwa, and Hadapsar, including 70 per cent of civil work and commencement of electro-mechanical installations

  • 50-60 per cent completion for STPs at Bhairoba Nala, Naidu Hospital, Baner, Narveer Tanaji Wadi, and Dhanori, primarily civil work

  • Total expenditure of ₹416 crore so far for the 10 STPs in this project

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