India is the country of rivers that can be termed as the lifeline of Indian people across the country. India has about 45,000 km river length in total across the country. Now, the lifelines of India are in dying condition and the threat is coming from the continuous routine dumping of millions of tonnes of sewage across the country. The lacks of proper sewage system in India’s most of the cities are main culprit behind the killing of India’s rivers. Several important rivers are dying because of the drainage of sewage in it.
Could you believe that New Delhi is alone responsible to produces 3.6 billion litres of sewage per day. The threatening part of the story is that the city’s poor management is unable to treat half of the sewage produce in a day. The remaining untreated waste is dumped into the Yamuna River daily. Now, you can imagine the condition of River Yamuna, that is lifeline for Delhiites. This not the story of Yamuna only, the same thing is being happened with almost every river in India.
Now, the government has decided to achieve the ambitious target of ‘no sewage into rivers’ by 2011-12. The government has proposed the target under the 11th Five Year Plan document and it will be tabled before the Planning Commission on November 8 for final approval. Earlier, the Prime Minister’s Office had taken initiative for revamping Rs 3,000 crore National River Conservation Plan (NRCP) that covers 34 rivers and 160 towns in 20 states. The plan is still in process by completing 10 years of the operation and resulted almost in nothing positive.
The government has decided to complete the plan by clubbing it with urban sewage treatment priority reforms under the City Development Plans of JNNURM. According to the report, the government actually wants all cities, which are receiving funds under JNNURM and the Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Smalll and Medium Towns (UIDSSMT), for ensuring 100% treatment of sewage till 2012.
The new plan would complete the old existing projects first and then it would consider new projects particularly in those cities that are not covered under JNNURM and UIDSSMT plans.
At present, about 20% of the total waste generated in India is treated. The rest of the sewage mixes up into rivers across the country. According to the data, Indian cities produce 22,900 million litres a day (mld).
17,100 mld is being drained into the rivers without getting any treatment. Several environmentalists have made it confirm that 300 sewage treatment plants exist in India. Many of these plants are underutilized and badly located.
Most of the sewage treatment plants mix the treated waste with untreated sewage and throw into rivers. India has a badly structured and managed drainage system in ‘working’ condition. More than half of India’s drainage system is virtually outmoded. The climate change is also another threat to India’s water supplies with Himalayan glaciers that is the main source of several rivers in north India.