Tata Consulting Engineers’ Infrastructure Business Unit (IBU) is providing concept to commissioning services for the Gujarat Waste Water & Sewage Systems Board (GWSSB), a megaproject to develop underground drainage (UGD), water distribution and sewage treatment plants (STP) across the state of Gujarat. With efficient waste, sewage and water management, the communities benefit from infrastructure due to improved health and hygiene through efficient management of waste and water. The IBU, with extensive experience and expertise in the area, brought about the best of available technologies for building this infrastructure in the most cost-efficient manner and making current systems state-of-the-art.
The challenge was in managing existing systems and infrastructure through relevant upgrades and introducing new elements to modernise them. Some UGDs & STPs were Greenfield. Hence the task was to review in totality and provide customised solutions to each of the 260 towns that were being provided with the UGDs and STPs. Additionally, in regions with low loads due to current demographics, systems were designed with the scalability factor while conserving resources such that the systems best fit current requirements ensuring capex and opex cost efficiency.
Typically, towns in India pose challenges in terms of rail/road connections and railway crossings. Hence underground drainage systems and water distribution became complex with 46 railway crossings, 364 highway crossings, 45 canal/forest crossings. 20 Water treatment plants and a distribution network for water for the entire state was planned by the Infrastructure BU, to reach 80 lakh people.
This master plan required tremendous planning and coordination to ensure each location got the best benefit at manageable costs. While most STPs were Greenfield, the right technology to best suit the town had to be carefully selected. Yet another consideration was the maintenance of the systems. The entire system had to be simplified such that the maintenance can be managed at the ‘gram panchayat’ level of the said town and the power consumption kept low. Smaller towns face power outages and hence, cannot be provided with complete automated systems which though high-tech, are not a workable solution.
Apart from these were the technical challenges and improvisations required. Cutting the cost of energy for pumping, the drainage pipes were designed by reducing depth. Additionally, energy efficiency was brought about by optimising the number of pumping stations, thereby reducing the operations and maintenance costs. In all, 70 towns will be covered with UGD and a total of 92 STPs will be set up. Water distribution systems will be covered in 10 towns. With the value additions provided to the customer, increased the scope of TCE’s involvement in the assignment.