Indore becomes India's first 'Water Plus' city. Here's why it matters
Indore in Madhya Pradesh, also referred to as the "cleanest city" in India, has now also been declared the first "Water Plus" city in the country. The announcement was made by the central government on Wednesday under the Swachh Survekshan 2021. Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan lauded the city of Indore for setting an example for the whole nation in its "determination and dedication towards cleanliness."
"Heartiest congratulations to the citizens of Indore as it becomes the first SBM Water certified city under Swachh Survekshan 2021," Chouhan posted on Twitter. "Indore has been an example for the whole nation for its determination and dedication towards cleanliness. May it continue to bring glory to the state!" he added.
What is a Water Plus city?
A Water Plus city certificate is provided to a city for maintaining cleanliness in rivers and drains under its administration.
According to protocol and the toolkit provided by the Union ministry of housing and urban affairs, a city can be declared as Water Plus only after all wastewater released from households, commercial establishments, and the like is treated to a satisfactory level before releasing the treated wastewater to the environment.
"As Swachh Bharat Mission has progressed significantly, it is imperative that progress attained in achieving our objectives be sustained financially and in an environmentally feasible manner," the government says. "Cities are now working towards sustainability of sanitation status, by ensuring that no untreated wastewater is discharged into the open environment."
Indore, India's first Water Plus city
There are a number of criteria that need to be met before a city is declared Water Plus, said Indore municipal commissioner Pratibha Patil. Firstly, it must be ensured that the dirty water from the city does not go into any river or drain. Secondly, all public toilets in the city must be connected to sewer lines and must be cleaned. And finally, 30 per cent of the city's sewer water has to be recycled and reused.
According to Patil, people living on the banks of drains in Indore connected the outfalls of their houses in the drainage line at their personal cost. The municipal corporate commissioner said that about 7000 public and domestic sewer outfalls in the city were stopped, the city's rivers were freed from the sewer lines.
The 30 per cent recycled water from the sewer was re-used by people at construction sites and by citizens for gardening purposes, the municipal official said.
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