In the last 19 years, Rs 6500 crores have been spent to clean the River Yamuna but it is dirtier than ever. What one wonders is what happened to that money? Who pocketed it while the main northern river has gotten worse and worse??
Six years back, Delhi Jal Board proposed interceptor sewers to treat sewage before it flows into major drains, but till date nothing has really happened! Meanwhile the total number of unauthorized colonies in Delhi have risen to 1639 from 1432! These colonies hardly have place to walk or for roads…. providing sewers is a very tough task!
While Delhi’s total sewage generation is around 3,800 MGD; Delhi’s 17 sewage treatment plants (STPs) have a capacity of 2,460 MGD and even then the utilization of 1,558 MGD. That means MORE THAN HALF of Delhi’s sewage goes into the rivers UNTREATED!! That is catastrophic! By 2021, this will grow up to 4500 MGD. We need increase the sewage treatment exponentially in the coming days, but with such callous attitudes and heavy pockets which gobble up thousands of crores of rupees – how do we get there???
It is not as if efforts have not been made in India which one can learn from, but the will may not be there. This year at the Maha Kumbh, at least one technique was used to handle the sewage there.
Expensive hardware is not the only solution for Delhi, say experts. Sunita Narain, CSE director says that DJB should a look at other inexpensive methods of cleaning the river.
“At Kumbh this year, there was a strict enforcement on industries, sewage was intercepted and reused, and bio-remediation was done at all nallahs, which ensured that sewage in nallas was much cleaner by the time it reached STPs or the Ganga,” she said.
Delhi could adopt several of these techniques, Narain said. “Bio-remediation is an effective, natural and non-expensive mechanism of waste water treatment. More importantly, Delhi should take less water from the Yamuna to ensure a minimum flow in the river. Instead, it should regulate and rejuvenate its water bodies and develop its groundwater sources,” she added. (link)
But the issue is who would drive home this point? And why can’t we think of newer ways??