Delayed Mapusa sewerage project faces uncertain future

Delayed Mapusa sewerage project faces uncertain future

The complex which houses the sewerage treatment plant at Camarcazana in Mapusa.

After over a decade of promises and repeated assurances, the sewerage project in Mapusa remains stalled, leaving residents in limbo regarding when the network will be operational.

The project, which commenced in April 2013 with an anticipated completion date of September 2015, has faced numerous setbacks, pushing its deadline indefinitely.

Initially slated for completion in March 2021, the project encountered delays due to the COVID-19 crisis and financial constraints, further exacerbating the frustration of Mapusa’s inhabitants.

The prolonged construction period saw roads dug up, causing traffic chaos and significant dust pollution in the town, inconveniencing locals for nearly six years.

Finally, in 2021, the laying of the sewerage pipeline and the construction of the treatment plant were completed.

However, the crucial step of connecting individual households to the sewer lines has yet to materialise fully.

Despite the Mapusa Municipal Council’s resolution in April 2022 to permit road cutting for this purpose, progress remains sluggish.

The Sewerage and Infrastructure Development Corporation of Goa Ltd (SIDCGL) had initiated the task of connecting individual houses to the sewer lines, conducting phase-wise testing and repairs of leaking manholes.

However, challenges emerged, including protests from residents in areas like Camarcazana, where underground testing adversely impacted drinking wells due to low water tables.

Moreover, the legality of the construction of the Sewerage Treatment Plant (STP) at Camarcazana has been called into question due to the absence of necessary permissions.

Despite assurances from Chief Minister Pramod Sawant in the 2022 budget speech regarding the project’s commissioning, tangible progress remains elusive.

Mapusa MLA Joshua D’Souza has voiced his frustration over the project’s prolonged delay, emphasising the necessity of completing and commissioning the first phase before initiating subsequent phases.

The project, initially awarded to Simplex Infrastructures Ltd in 2012 at a cost of Rs 152.72 crore, aimed to establish a sewerage pipeline network spanning approximately 38 km.

Despite the completion of infrastructure such as manholes, inspection chambers, and the STP, operational hurdles persist, including delays in trial runs due to power connection issues.

Funding for the sewerage project, along with others across the State, is provided by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

As the wait for a functioning sewerage network in Mapusa drags on, residents and officials alike remain apprehensive about the project’s uncertain future and the persistent challenges hindering its completion.

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