80 million litres of untreated sewage a day chokes Gurugram’s drains: Report
Gurugram generates 393 million litres of sewage in a day (MLD) which is treated at the three sewage treatment plants.
At least 80 million litres of untreated sewage flows directly into the stormwater drains in Gurugram every day, polluting rivers, damaging underground water table, posing a huge health hazard for the nearby population and triggering flooding of roads during monsoon.
These details are part of the data gathered by a team of engineers drawn from several bodies for preparing an action plan to check illegal disposal of sewage in the city. The Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority’s (GMDA) submitted the action plan before the National Green Tribunal on Tuesday.
The NGT has been hearing two cases — Manoj Misra vs State of Haryana and Subhash Gupta vs Union of India — since September 2016, in which petitioners have raised concerns about local stormwater drains from Delhi-NCR dumping untreated sewage into the Najafgarh drain and ultimately into the Yamuna.
The data was uploaded on the GMDA website on December 31, three months after a team of engineers launched a survey of the city to check where sewage was being disposed illegally.
The team consists of engineers from Municipal Corporation of Gurugram, Haryana Shahari Vikas Pradhikaran, Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC), public health department, Public Works Department (PWD) and Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB), besides GMDA.
As per the plan, the GMDA proposes to divert all untreated sewage towards its three treatment plants in Manesar, Behrampur and Dhanvapur. The city generates 393 million litres of sewage in a day (MLD) which is treated at the three STPs.
The team of engineers has so far identified 50 spots where untreated sewage was being dumped into stormwater drains, said Rajesh Bansal, superintending engineer GMDA. “Sewage connection is a mandatory condition for building approval. The sewage requires to be treated at STPs before being disposed of. Our team has been surveying drains and so far we have found about 50 illegal sewage disposal locations,” he said.
“We have already stopped the practice at eight locations but at other places we need to construct sewage drains to divert it towards STPs. We are working on it and have set a June deadline to complete the work,” Bansal said.
The report by engineers mentioned Sikandarpur, Palam Vihar, New Palam Vihar, Udyog Vihar, Sukhrali, Atul Katariya Chowk, Dharapur, Sarai Alawardi, Bhimgarh Kheri as some of the areas where sewage was being discharged illegally.
Some of the areas where illegal discharge of sewage has been stopped are near Metro pillar no. 92 on NH8 where 3 MLD sewage was found flowing into the drains, 2 MLD discharge was stopped at Cyber Park near Sikandarpur, 1.5 MLD near furniture market, MG Road, Sikandarpur, 1.5 MLD at green belt near Udyog Vihar.
“We found 7.5 MLD illegal sewage flow at Vatika Chowk, Badshahpur. Since the source fell in the jurisdiction of MCG, we have asked the civic body to take measures to divert the sewage towards GMDA master sewer network by February,” said Bansal.
Vikas Malik, executive engineer MCG, said the estimate for constructing a 2-MLD treatment plant at Mohammadpur has been prepared. “We plan to finish work by March 31. The survey is still going on to identify other such locations in the city,” Malik said.
On December 28, HT had reported that in the absence of proper sewage infrastructure, residents living in sectors 81 to 115 (a stretch which runs along the Dwarka Expressway) have once again raised health and environmental concerns regarding the manner in which their sewage waste is disposed.
Spot visits by a Hindustan Times team to the area, on December 27, found that sewage, both liquid and sludge, is dumped arbitrarily by private tankers at various spots, with many of them emptying untreated waste into a storm water drain that runs along the Bajghera road in Sector 110, coming from Rezang La Chowk near Palam Vihar and flowing towards Najafgarh.
Such haphazard management of sewage poses serious risks for both the environment and human health, warned Rekha Singh, a municipal waste expert certified by the Quality Council of India.
“Sewage is extremely harmful and contains organic material, which can cause eutrophication of the area’s water bodies and groundwater, and can deplete the soil health. Under no circumstance should it be dumped so openly,” she had told HT.
Lalit Arora, GMDA chief engineer, said, “Villages and unauthorised colonies are major source of illegal sewage discharge but both GMDA and MCG are working on streamlining sewage disposal by June 2019.”
SS Oberoi, a city based environmentalist, alleged that GMDA is incapable of treating the sewage generated in Gurugram at its plants, which is the “root cause of the problem”.
“This is first time any authority has admitted illegal sewage disposal in the city. The fact of the matter is that industries, developers, villages and unauthorised areas all discharge sewage in drains and in open areas through septic tanks. The administration has failed to stop it. Why the authority (GMDA) should wait for NGT to issue directions to fix the problem? It is a major threat to the environment,” Oberoi said.