The Kejriwal Government is working tirelessly and extensively to abate water pollution in Delhi and clean the Yamuna River by 2025 to improve water security through a wide range of efforts. On the directions of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the Vice-Chairman of Delhi Jal Board (DJB) Saurabh Bhardwaj conducted an 8 hour long inspection of the situation at 7 projects of diverse nature, which are either developed or are under the process of development.
The DJB Vice-Chairman visited Badshahpur Drain Outfall, Pappankalan Lake, Dwarka WTP Lake, New Dwarka WTP, Coronation Pillar WWTP, Rithala STP, Rohini STP & Lake.
The DJB Vice-Chairman started the visit at Badshahpur Drain Outfall where he inspected the current situation as 95 MGD of polluted water is getting discharged into the Najafgarh Drain and ultimately reaches the Yamuna untreated.
The Delhi Government has decided to treat 95 MGD of sewage water coming from Haryana via the Badshahpur Drain through in-situ technology that will save the cost of constructing new STPs and disallow sewage water fall into the river. The technology being employed will be able to filter and treat the water in the very drains. This also means that the Delhi Government will clean the sewage being dumped by other states into the national capital.
The Delhi Government has resolved to create quality infrastructure in Delhi aimed at improving the living standard of every resident. The 7 projects will give an unprecedented push to water conservation, water pollution control, underground aquifers recharge, reduction in foul smell, water security of the city, cleaning of Yamuna, increased natural carbon sink and ultimately – accelerate ecological restoration where damage has occurred in the past.
The inspection visit of Bhardwaj began with the Pappankalan Lake. The Pappankalan Lake at Pappankalan STP is being developed to amass and utilise the treated water from the STP with an aim to raise depleting groundwater levels in the area. The lake is currently being constructed in two parts where one lake is situated in an area of 7 acres and second lake spread on 4 acres. To heighten the speed of percolation and recharge into the underground water reserves, the treated effluent will be discharged into Lake 1 and then will be passed to Lake 2. The excavation of the lake is completed and now aerators are being employed in the lake due to reducing the BOD levels.
The Dwarka WTP lake is a natural extension of Pappankalan STP project as the treated wastewater from Lake 2 of Pappankalan will be diverted towards the Lake at Dwarka WTP to further reduce the BOD level. This will allow greater percolation into the ground and could be extracted through bore-wells to reduce the gap between demand and supply of potable water in Delhi.
The Dwarka Water Treatment plant (WTP) is being developed to satisfy the water demand of Dwarka sub-city and adjoining areas which is projected to be more than 100 MGD. In the first phase of the project, a 50 MGD WTP was constructed and has been operational since 2015. Now in the second phase, another 50 MGD WTP is being constructed over a property adjoining the existing water treatment plant.
Coronation Pillar WWTP is a mega facility which was inaugurated recently to treat a gigantic 31.80 crore litres (70 MGD) of waste water on a daily basis. The WWTP will treat the wastewater generated from the areas of Shakti Nagar, Kamla Nagar, Roop Nagar, Delhi University Campus, Nehru Vihar and the University area.
The unauthorised Saroop Nagar, Bhalswa, Sant Nagar and Wazirabad Group of Colonies will also benefit where lakhs of people live. Also, the sewage which used to directly fall into the Supplementary drain is ought to be trapped by an interceptor sewer and then will be treated at the Coronation Pillar WWTP. This will decrease the wastewater load of Supplementary Drain, and subsequently Najafgarh Drain and the Yamuna River.
The Rithala STP is one of the key projects undertaken by the DJB and is currently being developed to bring the BOD and TSS levels of the wastewater from 15 mg/L to 10 mg/L and 20 mg/L to 10 mg/L respectively. The Kejriwal Government has also planned to create a lake on 100 acres of land at Iradat Nagar which will be fed from treated water of Rithala STP.
The entire project is broadly based on sewage water remediation and lake development. The Rohini Lake, along with the Rohini STP, is situated in a complex of 100 acres of land where the sewage treatment plant occupies 20 acres while lakes and green areas are being developed on 80 acres. The wastewater will be treated in the STP with a capacity of 68 MLD and the treated effluent will be further polished using suitable treatment technologies, after which it will be released into the lake. Upon completion of the Rohini Lake development project, the underground aquifers will improve, benefiting the ecological growth in the region. A total of eight lakes will receive and recharge 68 MLD of treated water from STP after polishing to a biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) 3 level. The Kejriwal Government plans to develop the area as an “abode of lakes and recreation.” The entire project is situated in a complex of 100 acres of land where the sewage treatment plant occupies 20 acres while lakes and green areas are being developed on 80 acres.
State-of-the-art landscaping of the lake will be done over an area of about 80 acres. The lake will also have a primary pedestrian, a secondary pedestrian and a jungle trail with a 4.5-meter pathway that will run through the middle of the lake. Numerous trees and plants will be part of the project, not just to give it a complete aesthetic look but also to allow the visitors to get close to nature. It will also be accompanied by world-class facilities like parking spaces, cafeteria, children’s park, entrance plaza, grand stepped plaza, etc.
Along with this, a stepped water garden, water alcoves, and an outdoor museum that will narrate the story of water harvesting in India will also be set up at the lake site.
The Rohini Lake avenues could be utilised by people for picnic gatherings, outings, morning and evening walks, physical exercises, sports, sight-seeing and leisure.
Bhardwaj said that the Delhi Government has set a target to clean the Yamuna river completely in the next three years. Under this, there is a plan to connect 100 percent houses of Delhi with the sewer line. Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal has given the responsibility of cleaning the Yamuna by February 2025 to the Jal Board, just as the Delhi government rejuvenated schools and hospitals in the last term, this time the main objective is to clean the Yamuna on priority basis.
Yamuna Cleaning Cell is working on Construction of new STPs, DSTPs, up-gradation of existing STPs up to 10/10 and capacity addition, laying of sewerage network in unauthorised colonies, septage management; Desilting of trunk/peripheral sewer lines, providing sewer connections in already notified areas, trapping of drains under ISP, in-situ treatment of drains etc. So that Delhiites do not have to face any problem.