According to reports, the sewage treatment capacity of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) will go up substantially by August 2014 once the infrastructure to recycle waste water is in place at Mundhwa.
At present, the city generates 700 million litres daily sewage, but treats 567 MLD. Over 6.5 thousand million cubic feet (TMC) sewage water will be treated and released into the irrigation canals once the plant at Mundhwa goes operational. About 27,000 MLD of sewage amounts to 1 TMC.
Plans are to release the treated water into the canal in Sade Satra Nali area on Pune-Solapur Road for non-drinking and agriculture purposes.
“The work on laying a pipeline connecting the Mundhwa plant to the irrigation canal is on. Nearly 3.5 km of pipeline has to be laid from the plant to this canal. As of now work on 2.6 km has been completed. The project will be fully functional from August,” said V G Kulkarni, head of the PMC’s water department, told TOI. The Rs 90-crore project in Mundhwa will include a jackwell, a pumping station and a recycling plant.
The city has 10 sewage treatment plants (STPs) and it has planned 10 more for future needs. The sewage from these plants will be taken to the Mundhwa plant for treatment. Five new plants will come up at Warje, Wadgaon Budruk, Dhanori, Bopodi and Hadapsar, while five other plants will come up on the sites of the existing treatment plants.
Around 0.50 TMC water treated in the city can be used for gardening, car washing and other non-drinking purposes or sent downstream for irrigation. However, in the absence of a centralized system, it is released into the river along with 25% of untreated sewage.
Since 1997, the civic body has been receiving water from the irrigation department on the condition that it will treat 6.5 TMC water annually and release it for agricultural use. Since no steps were taken, the state government on March 18, 2009 had sought Rs 6 crore as compensation from the civic body. Consequently, the civic administration had assured the state government that it will complete the sewage treatment plants and water-lifting infrastructure in a time-bound manner.
“If this infrastructure is ready, 6.5 TMC treated water can be released into the canal every year for irrigation. In return, the civic body can get additional water for the city from the reservoirs of the four dams and farmers will not have to lift water from the reservoirs,” officials said.
Earlier this year, the civic administration had made provisions for citizens and industries to use treated water for non-drinking purposes. The plan was to fill treated water in tankers and send it for gardening, to car wash centres and for other uses so that people do not use drinking water.
Kulkarni said that the new pipeline between Khadakwasla and Parvati to reduce water distribution losses is underway. The works have hampered due to land acquisition issue. Some land owners have gone to court against land acquisition and hence work has been halted, he added.
“The work covers four zones, of which it is underway in three zones. Legal complications have hampered work in one zone. This pipeline work will be completed in a year after legal issues are sorted out,” he said.