Work for Delhi Jal Board’s (DJB) much-awaited ambitious interceptor sewer project, the same which is supposed to prevent untreated sewage from being dumped into the Yamuna directly, is to be rolled out by August end and is likely to be completed in three years’ time.
According to officials, the project was supposed to be completed by October 2010, in time for the Commonwealth Games, but was delayed as the clearances from the Planning Commission, environment ministry, urban development ministry and the union cabinet took a lot of time.
Engineers India Ltd, the project management consultant, is hoping to complete the award of work by June end. The cost of the project runs into R1,400 crore. The total cost including the maintenance adds up to R1,900 crore. DJB officials informed that the Centre has agreed to foot a bill of R476 crore under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.
“The work would start simultaneously at six sites as part of six packages of the total project. We have identified three main drains — Najafgarh, Shahdara and Supplementary drain — wherein the sewage treatment plants (STPs) would function,” said Ramesh Negi, CEO, DJB.
However, the water after being treated and released into the Yamuna would be good only for irrigation purposes. The existing STPs can bring down the biological oxygen demand (BOD) level to 20 particles per million (ppm), but with the new system, DJB is planning to bring the BOD down to less than 15 ppm, member (water works) RK Garg said. The BOD is an indicator of the purity level of water.
Generally, 70% of the water used anywhere turns into sewage. As against Delhi’s demand of 1,080 million gallons per day (MGD) — approximately 240 litres per person per day — the DJB is able to supply only 840-850 MGD clubbed with 150-odd MGD drawn from underground sources.