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Drained by several perennial and non-perennial rivers and their innumerate tributaries, India is also called “The land of rivers.” It is worth noting that the total area covered by the rivers of India accounts to a whopping 14,500 km! On the contrary, not every household in India gets easy access to safe drinking water, and this is where the bare irony lies.

Statistically, 1.2 billion people call India home, and the water required for the population is 740bn cubic metres per year which are expected to grow by 200% by 2013. So what can be done to prevent the acute shortage of water? The answer is proper treatment of water and sewage.

The alarming fact about the water and sewage treatment scenario of today’s India is that the country has an installed capacity to treat only about 30% of all the sewage that is generated. The rest is completely untreated which makes it unusable and is either released to open drains or into the ground.

The banks of the major rivers of India, like the Yamuna and the Ganga, are often an ugly spectacle to behold owing to the flow of untreated sewage directly into them. However, amidst all such hopelessness, the gradual increase India’s investment in water and sewage treatment seems to be a silver lining. To cite an instance, the ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises, along with the National Innovation Council has announced the launch of a fund called the India Inclusive Innovation Fund, which primarily aims to improve the living conditions of the people. However, the plan also includes proper treatment of water which would be necessary to give easy access to safe drinking water to every citizen.

The better future

The present day scenario of India’s water and sewage treatment is far from being ideal. However, the future of water and sewage treatment looks better with a number of ongoing and upcoming water projects.

Mission Bhagiratha

The brainchild of Telangana Chief Minister, K. Chandrashekhar Rao, Mission Bhagiratha aims to provide safe drinking water through the pipeline to thousands of people in the Medak district of Telangana. This 42,000 crore project will have primary pipelines that would cover a length of approximately 5000 km while the secondary pipelines will go as long as 50000km to fill service tanks in the habitations. The completion of this project in 2018 will be a big stepping stone towards a better water and sewage management in India.

Modernising and setting up of water treatment plant

Several states of India are striving to improve the water and waste management plants in order to improve the quality and quantity of the available water. With the rapid and substantial advancement of technology coupled with a gradual increment of investment on waste water treatment, India is snail-pacing towards a better future.

India has a total of 920 sewage treatment plants all over the country. If all these plants functioned with efficiency then the problematic scenario would not have taken place. In a recent study, it has been estimated that nearly 39% of the waste treatment plants do not conform to the general standards prescribed under the Environmental Rules for discharging wastewater into rivers. However, we can hope for a better future with quite a large number of water and sewage treatment projects that is being recently undertaken in the country.

Good News Ahead

The Ganga Pollution Control Unit has secured Rs. 200 crore for the construction of four sewage treatment plants on the river to treat domestic waste only. Following suit, Delhi is also all set to get the biggest and the best in the quality sewage treatment plant. Chairperson of Delhi Jal Board, Kapil Mishra, made this announcement in the month of August. With a number of water and sewage treatment plans on its way, along with the growing concern and understanding of the sensitive situation of the present day scenario, the future certainly looks brighter.

While the government and authoritative bodies kick off several projects, let us lend a helping hand by keeping our environment clean. An effort made at the individual level would certainly catalyse the success rate of the projects undertaken. Let us know how you plan to contribute to India’s better future.

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