Gurgaon sewage lines choke on increased load | gurgaon | Hindustan Times
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Gurgaon sewage lines choke on increased load

The process of laying the sewerage network in the city started in the 1980s with a projected population of 10 lakh in 30 years. Come 2016, the sewerage network is still a work in progress

gurgaon Updated: Jul 16, 2016 00:39 IST
Abhishek Behl
Treated sewage water flows out of the Dhanwapur treatment plant. This water flows into the Najafgarh drain and eventually reaches the Yamuna.
Treated sewage water flows out of the Dhanwapur treatment plant. This water flows into the Najafgarh drain and eventually reaches the Yamuna.(Parveen Kumar/HT Photo)

The process of laying the sewerage network in the city started in the 1980s with a projected population of 10 lakh in 30 years. Come 2016, the sewerage network is still a work in progress. Though the population is now double the projection, the infrastructure is only adequate for 10 lakh.

The sewage production in a city is estimated on the basis of the water supply from civic agencies and factoring in other sources such as unaccounted private water supplies, addition due to infiltration, and rainwater entering the sewers during the monsoon. However, with neither the government nor private agencies having the exact figures on the water supply in the city, the estimation of sewage produced becomes tricky.

On the basis of the official water supply figures, the city should be generating around 120 to 130 millions of litres per day (MLD) sewage, but this does not take into account nearly 20,000 unregistered and 10,000 registered borewells.

A consultant on water related issues Nitya Jacob, who was earlier with the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), says because of the lack of proper data, it is almost impossible to devise a sewage management system for Gurgaon.

“There are numerous private colonies and a large number of unauthorised colonies that use groundwater. They produce more than half the sewage that is not accounted for and it chokes the system,” he said.

For this reason, Gurgaon has an inadequate sewerage network with under capacity sewer lines. What complicates the issue further is that the master sewerage network of the Huda does not match the internal sewage system laid by private builders in most of the new Gurgaon sectors.

“In most places, either the local network is not connected with the master network or the levels of pipes do not match. The sewage network has to function on gravity and this does not happen here,” RS Rathee, president of Gurgaon Citizens Council, says.

The result of the haphazard planning and dysfunctional sewerage system is visible across the city as upscale areas such as DLF phases 3 and 4, Sushant Lok, Ardee City, Palam Vihar, and sectors 21, 22 and 23 struggle with overflowing sewage.

Sewerage lines of Huda are also 25 to 30 years old, says Pradeep Kumar, superintending engineer, Public Health Engineering Department. “We need to upgrade the sewerage network and the technology of the plants. We need to put focus on local recycling of water,” he says.

The Huda sewerage network is divided into four zones but in many areas, the system is unconnected at the micro level. Erratic power supply to the main treatment plants also results in untreated sewage being released into the drains, he says.

Treatment

As per the state pollution control board, Gurgaon has five sewage treatment plants (STPs) at two sites — Behrampur and Dhanwapur. “Both the Huda and the MCG have the capacity to treat 250 MLD. Around 220 to 230 MLD that reaches the plant is treated,” Ranbir Singh Rathi, a pollution board official, said. However, the pollution control board accepts that around 50 MLD untreated sewage is released into natural drains and it ultimately flows to the Yamuna.

Another problem is the untreated sewage produced by 100 unauthorised colonies, about 40 urbanised villages and several condominiums that are dependent on tankers to remove sewage.

Experts suggest that the only solution is to develop a localised system based on small sewage treatment plants that can run even on solar power. CEO of a solar energy company Anand Kumar said the technology is available to run mini-STPs on solar power.

Jacob also batted for condominium and sector based localised plants to address the sewage crisis in Gurgaon.

Treatment

As per the state pollution control board, Gurgaon has five sewage treatment plants (STPs) at two sites -- Behrampur and Dhanwapur. “Both the Huda and the MCG have the capacity to treat 250 MLD. Around 220 to 230 MLD that reaches the plant is treated,” Ranbir Singh Rathi, a pollution board official, said. However, the pollution control board accepts that around 50 MLD untreated sewage is released into natural drains and it ultimately flows to the Yamuna.

Another problem is the untreated sewage produced by 100 unauthorised colonies, about 40 urbanised villages and several condominiums that are dependent on tankers to remove sewage.

Experts suggest that the only solution is to develop a localised system based on small sewage treatment plants that can run even on solar power. CEO of a solar energy company Anand Kumar said the technology is available to run mini-STPs on solar power.

Jacob also batted for condominium and sector based localised plants to address the sewage crisis in Gurgaon.