India Water Woes Indian rivers like Ganga and Yamuna polluted enough to be called drains In some places like Varanasi, Ganga has human fecal bacteria upto 100,000 parts per ml The water is unfit for bathing, leave alone drinking Millions of people along the banks suffer from regular outbreaks of cholera, dysentery, typhoid etc.
The Water - Sewage Connection Indian cities produce 40,000 million liters of Sewage everyday But only 20% of this sewage is “treated” at all A massive 80% untreated sewage is either dumped into rivers (as it is ) or seeps into the ground contaminating ground water That is a crisis as people “drink” this water!
What is the problem? Out of 3119 cities/ towns, only 209 have partial sewage treatment facilities. Most cities dump their effluents directly into water bodies Do we need to set up more Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs)? Yes and No Surprising fact – in most cities like Delhi the existing plants remain underutilized!! Why should that be?
Crux of the Problem Most cities lack a drainage network, in the first place, so there is no way to direct sewage to the STPs Over 50% of the populace esp. poorer sections use open areas or make shift toilets Most sewage either seeps into the ground, goes into stagnant water bodies, or flows into storm water drains which make their way into rivers or lakes Hardly 4 cities in the whole country have a closed drain network
No Drains Most cities lack a drainage network – as is well known So how will the sewage even be taken to an STP – if hypothetically it is even set up? First demand – Set up a drainage system in all cities and towns Recognize drainage and sanitation is a basic human right Can it become an election manifesto? At least, it should be.
Coming to the STPs Existing STPs inefficient in water treatment – need better facilities & monitoring Most of them are also underutilized because there are no drains to carry sewage to them Effluents from these plants should not be dumped into rivers again Demand – STP should recycle the water back into the cities for non drinking purposes – like in construction, gardening etc. Sewage can also be used to generate Energy
Know More (suggested reading) Excreta’s Economy, a true Experience - Sunita Narain http://www.cseindia.org/node/707 From water to Water – Sunita Narain http://www.cseindia.org/node/638 80% of Indian sewage flows untreated into water systems http://www.catholic.org/international/international_s tory.php?id=50014 Status of Sewage Treatment Plants in Delhi http://www.sulabhenvis.nic.in/Database/STST_status ofsewageindelhi_2091.aspx
Yamuna River… Change is possible.. It has begun with your taking interest! Courtesy David Stewart : Is it nothing to you, all that ye pass by. (Lam 1.12)
Jal Tarang India May the joy of pure and safe water reach every Indian Be informed and raise awareness!! https://www.facebook.com/JalTarangIndia