Unauthorized construction, construction in violation of approvals, inadequate supplies, unfinished civil works, the absence of canopies, and the presence of corroded materials collectively constitute a clear instance of misconduct by Triveni at the Kondli Wastewater Treatment Plant site. The catalog of transgressions is extensive, and there is no indication that either DJB or NMCG has taken any action against the erring company.
The June 2023 Progress Report tendered to all stakeholders by the Project Management Consultant (PMC), disclosed several malpractices infecting all units of Kondli WWTP. The list of unprofessional conduct of Triveni is quite long.
The question is that despite the fact that there had been 24 inspections and reviews of the progress of the project and Deputy CM of Delhi personally monitoring the WWTP at his level, how can Triveni take authorities for a ride. Triveni has missed three deadlines set by the authorities. A fourth one (September 2023) has also ended as we await the results. As per the official documents, there is no-change in the unprofessional conduct of Triveni, making one wonder about the support for the comoany from political quarters.
After each inspection by the E&M engineers’ team, observations were tendered to Triveni. The delinquency is emboldened by the fact that the company did not submit a single compliance report in five years.
DJB Chief Engineer inspected and reviewed Kondli WWTP on June 05 and 24, 2023, and found manpower shortage. He directed Triveni to employ adequate manpower and resources to complete the project.
Ajay Gupta, DJB Member for Drainage, also found unnecessary delay in desilting and CCTV work in the 1400 mm diameter Treated Effluent Pipeline –a key infrastructure of WWTP – in Phase-I. In Phase II and III, the concrete (RCC) Treated Effluent Channel was found blocked and not functioning as per design capacity. Triveni was asked in May 2023 to clean up the entire facility to avoid any sewage overflow and submergence that happens in Monsoon. The travesty is that this specific work is still not complete as of June 2023. The overflow of sewage in the plants causes extreme foul smell in the nearby areas which is densely populated causing bad health and danger of diseases’ spread.
Malpractices galore at Kondli WWTP
Several unprofessional practices have also been reported by the official documents on the part of Triveni at Kondli. The company has used old materials in the plant which is unacceptable to the authorities. Sub-standard equipment like diffusers have also been installed. Many E&M installations were done without completing the civil structures which is detrimental to public money. For example, air blowers are found to be in the open in the sky without roof that has caused heavy rusting to the costly equipment.
The malpractices also include installations of equipment that were against the approved GAD by authorities. Certain documents were not submitted to get approval from authorities for installations.
The Air Blowers, says PMC, were supplied and installed by Triveni that were not approved by the authorities in the bioreactor tanks of Phase-I.
After the June inspection, the Progress Report categorically held, “Some of E&M equipment were lying in the open near Bioreactor Phase-I. This is not proper and not confirming the CA (contract agreement) requirement.”
Despite reminders, the company didn’t remove many E&M equipment to safer places. This issue was personally brought to the notice of the contractor (Triveni) by Deputy CM Manish Sisodia during his inspection visit in November 2022.
Misconduct in Phase-I
It looks like Triveni worked according to its whims and fancies. Knife Gate Valves are not provided as per requirement of approved Mechanical GAD but deviated from it. Matching Flanges were found to be of sub-standard quality. Manual valves have been installed instead of motorized KGV. PMC said that till date, Triveni has not complied with these observations.
Talking about Aeration Air Blower, PMC uses strong words against Triveni, “Intake air filter system of M/s Air Filter Industries Pvt Ltd has been supplied and installed at the site, but these are not confirmed in the approved data sheet. As per approved data sheet these filters were to be supplied by the air blower vendor of their own make. No approval of these filters has been taken.” There is noise and no ventilation here. Despite multiple reminders, the report finds, “Till date no action was taken to mitigate the high noise levels.” Malpractice… Also, vendor approval for Harmonic Filter for air blower’s motor has not been taken.
In Sump Sludge Mixers, the report says, “Jib crane and guide arrangement not installed for individual submersible mixers in both thickened sludge sumps. This is not acceptable not being as per contract agreement requirements. No rungs/cage ladder for access is provided in the sump.”
In DAF Thickener, it was found that the heavily rusted MS plate was instead of SS plate in Joints of Mechanism. Heavy rusting is also reported.
Misconduct in Phase-II
The IAmRenew investigation reveals that “old materials” have also been used in the project and several arrangements were of temporary nature.
In Raw Sludge Sump & Pump House (Rehabilitation) of Phase-II, the Progress Report says about EOT, “Old existing ISMB has been used in installation. This is not acceptable and this has to be replaced by new one.”
The telescopic valves in Secondary Clarifiers do not have arrangement as per official approval and there is no permanent power supply in the system. Besides, in RAS Sump & Pump House, the knife gate valves were found to be in a tilted position.
It was also discovered in the inspection that all gates and valves were being operated manually. This is despite reminders to Triveni to operate all gates and valves electrically. The lighting distribution boards (LDB) are still not flameproof.
Malpractices in Common Units
The DAF Control Building is common for all phases of Kondli WWTP. The travesty is that the civil work is incomplete and the E&M installations have not started at all. Even the pump house is yet to be created. Triveni failed to submit the GAD for the pump house to get approval. This implies that further delay in completing the project is inevitable.
Pumps supplied for the project are lying in the open to rust and damage. Heavy rusting has taken place even in coarse & fine screen channels’ equipment. Canopies for all outdoor motors are missing.
The inspecting team found that three pumps were installed in the Filter Feeding Building of RGF even when the civil structure was not completed, which is an improper practice. For the installation of the Firefighting Package, Triveni has not submitted documents for approval.
Plethora of shortcomings
Most of the buildings and structures have incomplete finishing works. The official documents say that painting, plastering, brick walling, Pu coat, window and door installations, flooring, tiles work, sanitary work, roof treatment and other works are not completed yet.
In Primary clarifiers, the scum – which is a high pollutant – is collected in the chamber but it’s found spilling all over the sump area. This seems to be hazardous. The arrangement to lift the scum is highly inadequate and may fail operations.
Triveni Engineering was supposed to provide metallic weirs in bio-reactors but it has not. Submersible mixer installation in anaerobic tanks was found to be ineffective. These mixers did not work at all in the anoxic tanks.
Administrative building is not complete to allow normal operations of the plant. What remains to be done are roof treatment, rainwater harvesting piping, tile work and sanitary work.
The cement concrete (CC) road infrastructure inside the premises is still not completed by the contractor. It’s better not to go further because the list of discrepancies by Triveni at Kondli site is actually long while we await the Progress Report of September 2023.
Yamuna Action Plan – a gist
Yamuna Action Plans (YAP) were created with the objective of creating sewer networks, catching wastewater and treating it before releasing it into the Yamuna river to ensure that the river is cleaned. Previously, YAP-I and YAP-II were executed but the pollution level in Yamuna has gone from bad to worse. The river doesn’t have any life in a stretch of 22-km in Delhi; it’s literally dead.
Now the Central Government has come with YAP-III which envisages construction of three major WWTPs in Okhla, Kondli and Rithala. A huge quantity of wastewater is out-falling into Yamuna untreated. Kondli WWTP is being built to arrest the wastewater of East Delhi. YAP-III is integral to the broader initiative of cleansing the Ganga river system and Yamuna is its most vital tributary.