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Environment Ministry Mulls SPV For Sewage Control  
Source:   Business standard City   : NewDelhi Published On   14-01-2010  


The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) plans to set up a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for projects to control municipal and industrial sewage generated in the country. The SPV, a joint venture between the Centre and the states, will facilitate faster execution of projects.

We are looking at alternative ways of executing projects by bringing in a private partner who can increase the sewage treatment capacity by setting up sewage treatment plants (STP) on a build-operate-transfer basis,” said Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh.

As part of Mission Clean Ganga, no untreated municipal sewage and industrial effluents are to flow into the river by 2020. An estimated investment of Rs 15,000 crore over the next 10 years will be required to create the necessary treatment and sewerage infrastructure.

Municipal sewage is defined as waste (mostly liquid) originating from a community composed of domestic wastewaters and/or industrial discharges. It is a major source of water pollution in India, particularly in and around large urban centres. In India, about 78 per cent of the urban population has access to safe drinking water and about 38 per cent of the urban population has access to sanitation services.

A report by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on water consumption and sewage disposal reveals that the biggest cities in India are treating 50 per cent of the sewage they generate.

“We are looking at new designs and performance evaluation of the STPs. Till now, these plants were being run by the local bodies but now they will be operated by private players and funded by the government. This public-private partnership (PPP) model will be discussed in this Budget session,” said CPCB Chairman S P Gautam.

The MoEF, which expects to get better clarity on the PPP mode in the next 2-3 months, has already started working with Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam and other utilities.

CPCB also said that operation and maintenance of existing plants and sewage pumping stations was not satisfactory, as nearly 39 per cent of plants did not conform to the general standards prescribed under the Environmental (Protection) Rules for discharge into streams.

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