SRINAGAR – A Committee of Experts, constituted by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court last year, has found Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) “heavily over-utilized and under-maintained” and their effluent “far below” the required standards as laid down in the Central Pollution Control Board norms.
After the unabated flow of sewage into the Dal Lake which drastically affected the flora and fauna of the world famous body, the J&K Government in 2000 had decided to construct STPs around the lake to save it from further deterioration.
Presently, three STPs are functioning under the control of LAWDA and they are Lamb— 4.5 MLD, Habak—3.5 MLD and Hazratbal—7.5 MLD.
“It has been reported that about 70% of the sewage generated in Srinagar City finds its way into the Lake. 3 STPs are functioning under the control of LAWDA. These are heavily over-utilized and under-maintained,” the committee of experts (CoE) said in its latest report, according to GNS.
“Their effluent is far below the required standards as laid down in the CPCB norms,” the CoE said.
After detailed study and discussions with other experts— retired chairman, CPCB, academics from IIT, Bombay and IIT Roorkee and M/s Thermax, the company that designed and constructed these three STPs, the Committee is learnt to have given necessary feedback to Principal Secretary HUDD and VC LAWDA that the three STPs need to be renovated at the earliest.
In January this year, the contract has finally been assigned by UEED and the work is to be completed within six months, the CoE said.
After the repair and renovation of the three STPs is complete, the treated effluent needs to conform to the CPCB norms, The CoE said.
It has been learnt reliably that on CoE directions, the Consultant UEED is drafting a scheme for tertiary treatment of effluents and if required diverting the effluent away from the Lake, the flagship o Kashmir’s tourism.
Astonishing as it may sound, the CoE has found that none of the STPs were conducting any tests as regards the treated effluents, notwithstanding the fact that it is a statutory requirement that each STP should test the treated effluent quality before being released.
It was under the CoE’s directions that laboratory has now been set up and regular tests of incoming sewage and treated effluent are being carried out. However, again as per CoE, LAWDA “lacks the drive to digitise the reports, compare and analyze them and share it with the experts. (GNS)