Delhi Budget: Key promises to cut water theft and treat sewagehttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/delhi-budget-key-promises-to-cut-water-theft-and-treat-sewage/

Delhi Budget: Key promises to cut water theft and treat sewage

Delhi Jal Board officials have been working on the bulk water meter project for the past year, while the decentralised STP project has been in the works for close to three years.

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Residents fill water from a tanker sent by the Delhi Jal Board in Kusumpur Pahari, Vasant Vihar Sunday. (Express Photo Oinam Anand)

A plan to calculate how much water each area gets, and setting up small decentralised sewage treatment plants (STPs) across hundreds of colonies are two key promises the Delhi government made Thursday.

The only catch: Delhi Jal Board officials have been working on the bulk water meter project for the past year, while the decentralised STP project has been in the works for close to three years. “In the review of the last Outcome Budget, it came to notice that 47% of water in Delhi… is lost lost due to theft or leakage. Forty-six bulk water meters will be installed to know where it is going,” Finance Minister Manish Sisodia said, adding that this should be completed by the year-end.

The other project involves setting up small STPs to treat sewage and provide treated water for non-drinking purposes, especially horticulture. But water experts said creating new infrastructure is not the solution. “Delhi has the highest sewage treatment capacity in India. There are 41 STPs but only 10 work to the desired capacity. We have to work towards making existing infrastructure work,” said Manoj Misra, who works on pollution in the Yamuna.