Stop flow of sewer water in drains: NGT to Delhi Jal Board
A National Green Tribunal (NGT) appointed committee has directed the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) to come up with a time-bound action plan to stop the flow of sewerage from the 134 drains which have not been tapped under the Interceptor Sewer Project (ISP).
The committee has also asked the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) to carry out random checks on the untapped drains.
Under the project, sewage water from three major drains – Shahdara, Najafgarh and Supplementary – and their 108 sub-drains is to be trapped, which would then be sent to the nearest Sewage Treatment Plant (STP). The aim of this project is to bring down pollution levels in Yamuna River, into which the three drains empty sewerage.
A study conducted by the Engineers India Ltd, the project consultant of the ISP, had found that an additional 204 drains in areas covered by the ISP were still carrying sewage. According to the DJB, a majority of these drains come from areas where sewer lines have been installed.
“The DJB should therefore give timelines to fix maintenance issues in sewered colonies and provision of sewer connections to individual households. The committee is commissioning a random check through DPCC,” stated the minutes of the meeting held between the NGT committee and DJB officials on July 22.
According to the DJB, 70 out of these 204 drains come from un-sewered areas. Sewer lines would be laid in those areas by December 2021. At least 53 out of the 70 drains are expected to be brought under the ISP by December 2019.
“In the rest of the 134 drains, sewerage comes from areas where sewer lines have been installed by the DJB. Individual households need to take individual sewer connections to connect their houses to the DJB network,” a senior DJB official said.
According to the committee’s minutes of the meeting, the water utility seemed to have no plans for these 134 drains. Senior officials said the DJB would take up the issue with civic agencies for actions under municipal laws.
The committee also noted in the minutes that some of these 134 drains are also carrying sewerage from JJ colonies. This is despite assurances given by the DJB and Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board that community toilets are either linked to the DJB’s sewer network or septage is collected and transported to STPs for treatment.