Hyderabad: Contamination of water bodies within the Greater Hyderabad region will continue until sufficient number of sewerage treatment plants (STPs) are not built by Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWS&SB).
The existing STPs can treat only 772 million litres a day (MLD) of sewage, whereas the city and its environs produce total sewage of 1,782 MLD. Officials confess the city is in dire need of new STPs that can treat at least 1,010 MLD of sewage.
Adding to the problem is non-maintenance of existing STPs. The board has paid Rs 30 crore to a private agency for maintaining existing STPs for five years. When board officials conducted surprise inspections, they found that the agency was letting untreated sewage to flow into the Musi, endangering aquatic and human life in downstream villages.
It is open knowledge that untreated sewage water is flowing through various nalas within the limits of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC). The government has been busy bringing drinking water to the city through Krishna phases I, II, and III and Godavari phase I, but without improving the sewerage system.
This would lead to a weak sewage system contaminating drinking water flowing through water pipelines. “Water board must have made alternate plans for sewerage network too while building drinking water lines in the city,” a source underlined.
In fact, HMWS&SB had sent its proposals to National River Conservation Directorate (NRCD) for improving the city sewerage system. But the directorate did not release any grants. “Nalas of the city have become sewage carriers and lakes have become sewage ponds. These have ended up contaminating the Musi River. Untreated water flows through 50 villages downstream of Musi,” the source, who wished not to be identified, disclosed.
Villages affected include Choutuppal, Bhongir, Hayatnagar, Ghatkesar, Bibinagar, Ramayampet, Suryapet, Edulabad and Pochampally. The situation would turn worse if establishment of STPs in the city is further delayed.
When asked about details of STPs, an official disclosed that as per the master plan, total sewage generated up to ORR during 2018 was about 1,782 MLD. Projected sewage generation by 2036 will be 2,815 MLD. Against these, the present installed treatment capacity of existing STPs is 772 MLD.
As per the Comprehensive Sewerage Master Plan (CSMP), it is proposed to establish 62 sewerage treatment plants with a capacity of 2,057 MLD before 2036. "Of these, 62 proposals have been sent for establishment of 31 STPs in three packages under a hybrid annuity model (HAM). As that would be time consuming, tenders have been invited only for 14 STPs,” a board official maintained.