Pollution committee raises concerns about Delhi’s sewage treatment plants 2023
At a recent meeting of the Central Monitoring Committee on dirty river stretches, industries in non-conforming regions of Delhi, timetables for the building of new sewage treatment plants (STPs), and the upgradation of non-compliant STPs were discussed.
The Secretary, Department of Water Resources, River Development, and Ganga Rejuvenation, convened the meeting last month and issued the minutes on May 29.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) established the Central Monitoring Committee to oversee cleanup of contaminated river segments. The committee routinely analyzes governmental activities on STPs and CETPs to clean up contaminated river segments.
Cleaning the Yamuna requires treating wastewater before it enters.
At the meeting last month, the Director (Technical), National Mission for Clean Ganga, noted that Delhi is concerned about meeting deadlines for the construction of new STPs at Rithala, Kondli, and Okhla by June 2023 and the upgradation of non-compliant STPs by December 2023 and June 2024.
22 of 35 active STPs did not satisfy Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) treatment criteria in April, meaning their treated water did not meet regulations. According to DPCC reports to the Ministry of Jal Shakti, 28.8% of the city’s sewage—1005 MLD—is not treated.
The committee discussed non-conforming industries. The DPCC has declared these industries unlawful. “Considering their huge existence in non-conforming areas, the local bodies need to enforce their removal,” the DPCC told the committee.
The Delhi Lieutenant Governor instructed the DPCC and other departments to inspect these enterprises.
The DPCC told the committee that dyeing industry joint inspections have commenced and are being sealed on the spot. The committee requested information from the DPCC on industries sealed by inspection teams.
The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) assured the committee that 10 STPs will be upgraded and expanded by December. “…for the balance STPs, there are some issues of poor bidder response with receipt of single tenders, which are being processed & being placed before the Board,” the DJB told the committee.
The NGT-appointed High-Level Committee on the rejuvenation of the Yamuna met last week, and the L-G, who leads the committee, reported that pollution in the Najafgarh drain and the river after it meets it had decreased compared to previous year.
Water Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj said that river water quality could not improve without improving sewage treatment plants.