23% of City’s Sewage Is Still Dumped Into the Sea and Creeks

23% of City’s Sewage Is Still Dumped Into the Sea and Creeks

Data submitted by the BMC shows that around 23 per cent of the total sewage generated in Mumbai is sent directly to the nullahs, creeks as well as the sea. This comes after the BMC recently issued a public notice informing the citizens that Mumbai has a sewage network of 77 per cent. The statement by the BMC came as part of the Swachh Survekshan 2021 campaign which aims to provide information to the public about sewage management in the city. 

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As per the Service Level Benchmark (SLB) guidelines set by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, there are a total of five indicators to assess the sewage services in Mumbai. In addition to the sewage network, other indicators include sewage treatment plants (STPs), quality of treated sewage, sewage recycle and reuse, and complaint redress.

Some inadequacies were highlighted by the civic body. For example, the quality of treated sewage in the city is said to be 85.71 per cent as against the SLB guidelines of 100 per cent. As far as recycling and reuse are concerned, the SLB stands at 20 per cent while the civic body has only touched 4 per cent. One area where the BMC has managed to perform well is complaint redress, achieving an impressive 99.8 per cent.

The Sewage Operation Department said that Mumbai generates roughly 2,800 million litres of sewage daily while there are seven primary level sewage treatment plants situated across the city. 

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Officials mentioned that 23 per cent of the sewage is discharged without any treatment as they aren’t covered with existing sewer networks. An official, however, said that they are in the process of laying new sewer lines. An official from the Sewage Operation Department said, “The purpose of publicising the SLB achieved in sewage services is to help improve the rankings in Swachh Survekshan 2021. Many people had complained that while giving feedback, they were not aware of the SLBs in services.”

Meanwhile, the BMC’s STPs are currently undergoing reconstruction as part of the Municipal Sewage Disposal Project (MSDP) II. The civic body has said that it will install new sewer lines in areas that are currently dumping sewage into creeks, nullahs, and the sea. 

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