Zaheerabad railway station shows the sewage treatment way

The sewage treatment plant at Zaheerabad railway station.

The sewage treatment plant at Zaheerabad railway station.  

State seeks details to replicate the model in other towns

Zaheerabad is a parliamentary constituency and has a medium-sized railway station in Secunderabad division of the South Central Railway (SCR) with 26 trains bound towards Aurangabad, Pune, Shirdi, Nagarsole and others making their halts here.

This relatively unknown station got recognition through its unique eco-friendly initiative, first of its kind in Indian Railways, of recycling the city sewage to serve water needs for itself with the help of a simple Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) which now other railway divisions across country and even the State government wants to replicate.

Set up at a cost of ₹8.5 lakh, the STP is treating 30,000 litres of sewage everyday, and after filtering, water is being used for the needs of station upkeep, including watering plants around with maintenance costs of ₹3.34 per litre. The station was actually facing a crises of sorts with sewage from the town drains and also from railway quarters has been passing nearby.

The ground water table was deep and to meet the station requirements, the railway officials were forced to dig borewells for up to 800-1,100 ft depth with depletions happening every year while water tankers were being requisitioned during summer.

All that is likely to change this summer with the treatment plant commissioned recently by General Manager Gajanan Mallya.

The plant, which bagged the best innovation award in the division, consists of sedimentation tanks, natural filters using bricks and sand, carbon resins, aeration tank, PVC screen filters and others. “Water released from the ETP is odour free and has balanced PH levels so it can be directly connected to the drip irrigation system. Treated sewage water is now being used to water about 2,000 plants and two acres of garden in circulating area with help of drip irrigation system,” say railway officers Anand Bhatia and Subash, responsible for conceiving the plant.

The low operating cost of the plant will also help railways achieve carbon footprint reduction of about 14.30 metric tonnes of atmospheric carbon every year, says Chief Public Relations Officer Ch. Rakesh. Mighty pleased with what he saw, the General Manager called for similar units to be replicated at other stations too. The simple, low cost yet effective treatment plant has apparently caught the attention of State Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar and he sought details to check if it can be replicated in other towns too.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 12:56:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/zaheerabad-railway-station-shows-the-sewage-treatment-way/article30786578.ece

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