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Afterlife of lunch not free either

That the Supreme Court of India has had to order the Delhi government levy sewerage charges on all households in the National Capital Territory testifies to the low priority sewage treatment is accorded across states. Lakes that go up in flames in Bengaluru, fish that choke to death in the oxygen-starved waters of Delhi’s Yamuna and pollution across the country’s network of rivers call out for urgent steps to institute treatment of sewage and industrial effluents. Treating urban liquid waste is essential for public health and conserving water; and it can generate revenue for local governments as well. Nominal user charges are inescapable in this battle against pollution and water stress.

A mere 2% of our urban areas have both sewerage systems and sewage treatment plants; much of the sewage is simply drained into adjoining water bodies like the Yamuna. Between 2011 and 2017, the average sewage generated in Class I and Class II cities increased from 40,715 million litres per day (MLD) to 75,020 MLD. And, yet, the nation’s sewage treatment capacity has only increased from 11,787 MLD in 2009 to just over 26,066 MLD in 2018 (as of July), not all of it functional. So, barely a third of the sewage generated gets treated. The figure needs to rise, and fast.

The Supreme Court stricture on sewage charges has come in a case filed back in 2015. There is clearly a huge investment backlog in sewage treatment, and the way ahead is to duly step up resource allocation to revamp sewer networks and boost piped water supply. Reports say that almost a fifth of the households in Delhi lack proper drainage. One research report estimated the short-term investment requirement for sewerage projects nationally at a tidy $4.5 billion. Sewerage charges must not be sacrificed at the altar of populism.

Tirupati Eye

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संता Vs पल्स पोलिओ टीम

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संता (बीबी से):  बंदूक और कारतुस कह