Hunt on for sludge disposal pond on outskirts

 Along with shortage of effluent treatment plants (ETPs) and sewage treatment plants (STPs), the administrators in the capital are also struggling to find a 10 acre plot in Outer Delhi to safely dispose of the sludge from some of the existing units.

In the absence of suitable space for sludge disposal, there is a constant fear of the waste flowing back into water bodies, including the Yamuna.

At a time when the Central government has launched a major initiative to revive the Yamuna, the Delhi government’s environment department has asked the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the civic agencies to urgently provide land for the disposal of sludge from the units treating waste water and sewage.

The capital generates approximately 800 million gallons per day (MGD) of sewage, but has an installed capacity to treat approximately 512.4 MGD of waste. The rest manages to fall into the decaying Yamuna.

At present, a shortage of space has forced some of the waste treatment plants to use temporary storage and disposal options to get rid of sludge.

An environment department official said: “We have asked the DDA and the municipal corporations to look for a new disposal site so that sludge is disposed off safely.”

In the absence of systematic sludge disposal, there always is a danger of the waste re-entering water bodies, he said.

Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung held discussions on May 9 with officials for cleaning of the Yamuna and a committee formed thereafter recommended that the government should set up more STPs and ETPs to check the discharge of untreated waste into the Yamuna.

The panel also suggested construction of boundary wall meshes along the big drains and increasing the number of landfills so that solid waste is not dumped in drains.

In the coming months, Jung is likely to take some drastic steps to revive the Yamuna.
Sources in Raj Niwas said the BJP-led Central government is in constant touch with the lieutenant governor to save the river and would probably push for achieving the target before the possible Assembly elections around October.

Saving the degenerated river was one of the poll promises made by the Delhi BJP in its manifesto for the December 2013 elections.

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