Pune: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has blamed the municipal commissioner for delaying Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)-funded project aimed at construction of new Sewage Treatment Plants (STP).
The project is being undertaken to control river pollution. The Leader of the House Shrinath Bhimale has written to the commissioner and demanded that the project start immediately.
According to sources, BJP considers JICA project important after Metro project work. When the Union government sanctioned this project in 2016, the BJP displayed banners across the city congratulating Union Minister Prakash Javadekar who was then Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change. However, till date, nothing has happened regarding this project.
Now, on the backdrop of upcoming polls, Bhimale has written to the municipal commissioner pointing out several pending development issues. He stated in a letter that the administration has deputed 17 special officers for projects funded under JICA. These officers are supposed to work on the tendering process. However, Bhimale claimed that 10 days since their appointment, they have not yet been deputed work.
Bhimale said, “We are planning to hold stone laying ceremony of the project in the month of December. But considering the progress so far, we fear that programme will be delayed if the administration fails to take a decision.”
The Pune Municipal Corporation has announced a plan of Rs 990 crore for building 11 additional STPs along the riversides to treat 100 per cent sewage water. The projects were sent to the National River Conservation Directorate which allots funds to improve the water quality of the polluted river under the National River Conservation Plan (NRCP).
As per the deadline, the project will be completed by 2027 and JICA has given financial support to the