Use STPs or face water cuts: BMC to housing societies
Housing societies that already have sewage treatment plants (STPs) but are found not using them may soon be penalised. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) plans to issue notices to housing societies that have STPs but are not using the treated water from them for non-potable purposes such as watering gardens and washing open spaces.
The notice will include a warning that defaulters will face up to 25% water cuts in the future.
All ward officers have been told to identify such societies and start issuing notices where required. In order to cater to the water needs of Mumbai and ensure citizens avoid wastage, the BMC, as per Union environment ministry guidelines, has made common STPs mandatory for establishments with more than 20,000 sq mt built-up area. Societies will now have to ensure that water treated in existing STPs is utilised. “An unimaginable amount of drinking water can be saved if all housing societies in the city start using treated water for non-potable purposes. There is a need to mandate usage of the treated water. There is a need to mandate usage of the treated water; it not enough to just meet the environment requirements [by setting up STPs],” said a senior civic official.
In a recent meeting with ward officers, municipal commissioner Praveen Pardeshi directed the deputy municipal commissioners and assistant municipal commissioners (ward officers) to monitor and identify such housing societies in their respective civic wards. Pardeshi also said that in cases of large housing societies, councillor funds can be utilised to build STPs.
Meanwhile, in order to channelise treated water, the BMC has planned the Mumbai Sewage Disposal Project (MSDP) to set up seven treatment plants in the city. Under MSDP II, the BMC has planned seven water treatment plants at Colaba, Worli, Dharavi, Versova, Ghatkopar, Malad, Bandra, and Bhandup, respectively, with a capacity of generating 1,700 million liters per day (MLD) of tertiary water, which is expected to add 50% extra water to Mumbai.
Of these, only the Colaba plant is nearing completion. The existing plants only offer primary treatment which will be upgraded in the future.