BENGALURU: With the Swaccha Survekshan League 2020 being declared earlier this month, the city has to drastically improve the performance of its waste water management, as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has given a special focus on parameters pertaining to wastewater and fecal sludge management.
The municipal agencies have often faced backlash for lackadaisical approach towards maintaining the sewage treatment plants (STPs). The two important details which the Urban Local Bodies have to submit are the number of plants that have become non-operational in the last one month because of lack of lack of adequate input waste water flow and those due to of lack of adequate power supply.
The indicators listed in the Swaccha Survekshan League 2020 will also ascertain whether the city has adequate processing facility for fecal sludge.
The ULB's will also have to answer whether the plans are in place to reuse or recycle the waste water to reduce the burden on fresh water.
However, the maintenance of STP in the city has been dismal. Often the builders hand over the maintenance of the plants to the Resident Welfare Association (RWA), who due to lack of expertise are not able to maintain the plant, especially when they face technical problems.
According to a senior official in the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), “There have been instances when the treatment plants stop functioning due to the lack of skilled manpower. Instances of malfunction are often detected during raids. In some cases it was even found that some apartments have connected the sewage pipeline to the underground water drain.”
In 2014, when Prakash Javadekar took over as Environment Minister, it was stated that 70% of India's STP are dysfunctional. It was after the regular occurrences of STP shutdown that the then Union Minister, Uma Bharti, said the Union government will bear the cost of the Ganga basin STP for 15 years.