The Haryana Urban Development Authority's (Huda) decision to sell treated sewage water for construction purpose has met with the disapproval of city's developers who are sceptical about the quality of water.
In the wake of the Punjab and Haryana High Court ban on usage of groundwater, Huda had last week decided to sell treated sewage water at R4 per kilolitre to the developers as an alternate.
The National Real Estate Development Council (Naredco), the apex body of realtors, has decided to test the treated water. It collected water samples from the sewage treatment plants located at Behrampur and Dhanwapur villages on Friday.
“We suspect the treated water contains dangerous effluents. The water may not be good for construction work," said Navin Raheja, president of Nardeco. “We have our own laboratory where we will first test Huda's treated water. We will get the report by Monday/Tuesday," added Raheja.
It is suspected that sewage and factory effluents are getting mixed at several places in the city and there is a possibility of presence of dangerous chemicals in sewage water even after treatment.
"Huda is still using outdated technologies such as Activated Sludge Process (ASP) for treating sewage water despite recommended use of new technologies like MBBR or MBR which can treat sewage water perfectly," an expert said.
In a recent test conducted on Najafgarh drain water, an experts' panel found presence of heavy metal contents, nitrates and total resolved solids. What is particularly disconcerting is Huda's treated sewage water flows to Yamuna through this drain.
However, Pankaj Kumra, chief engineer (Huda), said, "The technology we use is perfect and the quality of treated water is not bad at all. But we have asked the builders to treat the water at their own level as well before using for construction work."
Ever since the court order, there has been heavy resentment among the builders against Huda for not providing adequate water facilities.
"As per the licence agreement, it was and it is the responsibility of Huda to provide water to us for construction purpose. But now we are falling prey to the court order which has banned groundwater extraction. The order is good and we respect the same, but sewage water is not good at all for construction — even after treatment," said another builder on condition of anonymity.
Huda had on Thursday proposed providing 10 MLD (million litre per day) of treated water per day from its two STPs - Behrampur (15 MLD capacity) and Dhanwapur (25 MLD capacity).
On July 31, the court had directed Huda to seal and dismantle all the borewells being used for extracting groundwater at construction sites.