Apartments find STPs unviable

While there is building pressure to construct and maintain Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs), for apartment complexes there seems to be little economic incentive to

“In many places, the builders violate these provisions. It is then up to the residents to bear the burden of constructing the STPs. As there is no permanent management for these apartments, constructing STPs or maintaining them becomes difficult,” says S. Venkata Krishna, president of Bangalore Apartments’ Federation (BAF), who stays in a 165-apartment complex at Malleswaram.

Similarly, Priyanka Jamwal, a researcher with Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), who has been studying STPs in apartments, says as it is nearly impossible to consume all the treated water, used for landscaping and flushing, there was little economic benefit for the apartments.

“One cannot impose a policy without thinking of the ground reality. There is no market for apartments to sell the treated water. The sludge can only be disposed by hiring septic tankers which may take it to other treatment plants or dump it elsewhere,” she said.

An ATREE study, for instance, records maximum consumption as just 70 per cent of the total treated water, while STPs become economically viable only if the apartment is more than 150 houses and is dependable on “costlier” tanker water.

“The zero discharge rule is foolish. The biggest polluters are apartments lesser than 50 households and they go scot-free. For larger apartments, there is no financial incentive, and they continue to be charged for sewerage whether there the discharged is treated or untreated,” says Sharathchandra Lele, who co-authored the study.

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Printable version | Jun 11, 2021 8:40:06 PM |

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