Bhubaneswar: Odisha has set a national-level benchmark in sewage treatment measures aimed at containing water pollution caused by the release of untreated sewage and faecal sludge to rivers.
This was known from a high-level review meeting held under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy in the Lok Seva Bhawan conference hall today wherein Principal Secretary Housing & Urban Development Sri G. Mathivathanan outlined the issues for discussion.
The discussions in the meeting showed that Odisha has been awarded as Best State by India Sanitation Coalition and FICCI in Urban Sewage Management for the year 2018. The State has also been awarded by the center of Excellence, Mussoorie for good governance in urban liquid waste management for the year 2018. The State has set national benchmarking in implantation of faecal sludge management regulation. The urban sanitation experts from Netherlands and Bangladesh, after visiting the operationalised and under construction STPs in the State, have highly acclaimed Odisha for low-cost management of the faecal sludge with de-watering technology using gravitation.
Reviewing the progress of the sewage treatment in urban areas, the Chief Secretary directed to expedite completion of sixty sewage plants in different ULBs of the State. Tripathy further directed to intensify the awareness and enforcement activities simultaneously in all ULBs.
Chief Secretary further directed to enforce that all fills should get connected to the sewage system wherever it is available. In the absence of a centralised sewage network, they should make use of the cesspool system already made available in all ULBs for safe disposal of the sewage.
Presenting the updates, Director Municipal Administration Sangramjit Nayak said, “State has made substantial progress in the matter during the last four years. In 2015, there was only one operational Sewage treatment plant ( STP) in the State providing facility for treatment of 2% of the urban Faecal sludge. In 2016 construction of nine plants were taken up with annual budgetary allocations. Urban sanitation policy and strategies have been put in place with definite institutional arrangements. By now, seven STPs have been operationalised. Sixty more are in different phases of completion”.
Chief Secretary Tripathy directed to tag the small ULBs to nearest SeTP for ensuring 100% population coverage. He further directed to tag the nearby rural areas to different SeTPs in ULBs for extending the benefits to the rural population as well.
Principal Secretary Mathivathanan said, “Since construction and operationalisation of the SeTPs take time of four to five years and containing water pollution is an urgent requirement, the interim low-cost technique of Deep Row Entrenchments ( DREs) have been rolled out in different ULBs. It is a tried and tested method for safe disposal of faecal sludge and septage”. This interim measure has been adopted from November 2017. As of now, 84 such DREs have been developed which provide safe sewage disposal service to 83% of the population. With the completion of sixty permanent STPs, all these HHs would be included under that service.
Director Municipal Administration further appraised that as of now around 200 cesspool emptier vehicles have been procured by the State and those have been given to ULBs for mechanized emptying of septic tanks and pits. The desuldging rates have been rationalised and brought down to Rs.1000/- per HE family septic tank/pit. The standard operating procedure for cesspool operations has also been put in place in all ULBs.
Principal Secretary Forest & Environment Dr Mona Sharma, Principal Secretary Housing & Urban Development Mthivathanan, Principal Secretary Panchyati Raj and Drinking Water Deo Ranjan Kumar Singh, Principal Secretary Finance Ashok Kumar Meena, Principal Secretary Water Resources Surendra Kumar along with senior officers sanitation experts from different departments participated in discussions.