BHUBANESWAR: The State has set a national benchmark in sewage treatment measures aimed at containing water pollution caused by the release of untreated sewage and faecal sludge to rivers.
With only one operational sewage treatment plant (STP) in 2015 providing facility for treatment of two per cent of the urban faecal sludge, the State has now seven operational STPs and another 60 plants are in different stages of construction.
Chairing a high level meeting, Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy on Thursday reviewed the progress of sewage treatment measures in urban local bodies (ULBs) of the State. “Since construction and operationalisation of the STP 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) has been rolled out in different ULBs. It is a tried-and-tested method for safe disposal of faecal sludge and septage,” said Principal Secretary of Housing and Urban Development G Mathivathanan after the meeting.
He said the 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 per cent of the population. With completion of 60 permanent STPs, all the households would be included under that service.
The Chief Secretary directed the department to expedite completion of the sewage plants in different ULBs and intensify awareness and enforcement activities.
He further directed to enforce that all houses in the ULBs should get connected to the sewage system wherever it is available. In the absence of centralised sewage network, they should make use of the cesspool system already made available in the ULBs for safe disposal of the sewage.
The department was asked to tag the nearby rural areas to different STPs in ULBs for extending the benefits to the rural population as well.
Director of Municipal Administration Sangramjit Nayak said as of now around 200 cesspool emptier vehicles have been procured by the State and those have been given to ULBs for mechanised emptying of septic tanks and pits. The de-sludging rates have been rationalised and brought down to `1000 per HH family septic tank/pit. The standard operating procedure for cesspool operations has also been put in place in all ULBs.