Sewage treatment in Telangana scarcely meets the requirements, going by a recent technical report prepared by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
As per the National Inventory of Sewage Treatment Plants-2021, wide gap prevails between the amount of sewage generated and that being treated in the State.
For an estimated sewage generation of 2660 million litres per day (MLD) in the State, only 706 MLD is being actually treated, as per the report, which amounts to 26.5%.
While the installed capacity of sewage treatment plants (STPs) is 901 MLD across the State, only 842 MLD is operational. Of the operational capacity, the actual utilisation is only 706 MLD.
All the operational STPs are not fully compliant with the norms, as apparent from the water quality parameters. Of the 842 MLD, only 637 MLD capacity has been found to be compliant. A total 24 MLD capacity is non-compliant and 35 MLD is under construction.
Of the total installed capacity in 37 STPs, Amberpet treatment plant alone constitutes 339 MLD, which is found to be compliant though its actual utilisation is only 300 MLD. The STP at Nagole on river Musi constitutes 172 MLD more, which is only partially compliant, with Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) shooting past the stipulated limits.
Of the two STPs on the Musi at Attapur with the capacities of 23 MLD and 51 MLD respectively, only the latter is fully compliant. The STP on Khajaguda lake too is only partially compliant, while two STPs in Pragathi Nagar Lake, and Krishnakanth Park respectively are non-operational.
Much of the total capacity exists within the city limits, with only 164 MLD installed outside the city encompassing Hyderabad and Rangareddy districts.
Citing nation-wide statistics, the report said a total of 72,368 MLD of sewage is generated across various urban centres, while installed treatment capacity is only 31,841 which amounts to about 44%. Of the installed capacity, only 26,869 MLD is operationalised, and 20,235 MLD actually utilised.
Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Karnatana are the top five states which have installed significant STP facilities, contributing 60.5% or 19,250 MLD of the total capacity of the country, the report said.
Together with Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab,Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan they contribute close to 86% of the total installed capacity. Strengthening the sewerage system, focus on operation and maintenance of treatment facilities, utilisation of treated sewage for non-potable purposes such as horticulture, irrigation, fire fighting, industrial cooling, toilet flushing, and others, besides providing treated sewage to industrial clusters and zones are some of the suggestions put forth by the report.