A senior DJB official said the liability to take a sewer connection was currently on the consumers. “Even after laying sewer lines and notifying such areas, a large number of consumers do not take connections as they do not want to pay the fees. Because of this, sewage continues to flow in the drains. At the same time, sewage treatment plants (STP) remain underutilised. The dependency on consumers will end when we start providing connections automatically,” he added.
The economic survey of Delhi mentioned that of the 720 million gallons sewage generated daily, only 473 MGD was treated and the existing capacity of STPs was not utilised. DJB data showed that of the 1,799 colonies in the city, sewer lines were laid in 443. Work was in progress in 537 colonies and in the tendering stage in another 116 colonies.
DJB estimates that by 2021, only 5% of Delhi will remain without sewers. “We are planning to cover all areas in the next three years. The scheme will benefit all colonies with new sewers. While 443 colonies will be covered under the CM’s free connection scheme, connections will be added automatically free of cost in the remaining 1,356 colonies,” the official said.
The socio-economic survey of Delhi government showed that while 60.1% of households were connected to the sewage network, 36.7% used septic tanks. The remaining used toilets that opened in drains.
“The main thrust of the two schemes is to bring septic tank users within the ambit of the sewage network so that waste can be brought to the STPs. A large number of houses that are not connected to the network, both directly and indirectly, contribute towards dumping of untreated sewage in the Yamuna,” said the official.
The water utility has decided to amend the contracts with the agencies laying the sewers. “Work is in progress in 537 colonies. The scope of work will now be expanded. For this, an increase in cost has been approved. However, 152 colonies that fall in O-zone or forest land are still awaiting NOC for sewerage work. Interceptor drains will have to be laid to prevent sewage from reaching the river,” the official added.