The Delhi government is hoping to exchange treated waste water from the Okhla sewage treatment plant with drinking water from Uttar Pradesh or Haryana, Delhi Jal Board (DJB) vice-chairman Dinesh Mohaniya said Tuesday.
The Okhla STP, whose foundation stone was laid Monday by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, will treat 56.4 crore litres of waste water per day.
“We would release this water into the Yamuna, but we ideally wish to exchange it with our neighbouring states. Delhi requires more drinking water, which we are hoping to procure from states such as UP or Haryana in exchange for treated water from the Okhla STP, which would be good for irrigation,” said Mohaniya.
At present, the DJB supplies around 900 million gallons of water (MGD) per day to the capital against a demand of approximately 1,200 MGD.
If an exchange agreement is made between Delhi and other states, a network of water pipelines may have to be installed for transportation, said Mohaniya.
Labelled as the largest sewage treatment plant in India, the Okhla STP is expected to be constructed by 2022.
It would replace four existing units of an STP at the site that have completed their life cycle. The plant would receive water from numerous neighbourhoods in South Delhi, such as Malviya Nagar and Chhattarpur.
At the foundation stone laying ceremony Monday, Kejriwal thanked the central government for its support in the project: “Not only is the Centre providing 85% funding for this project, it has also been a supportive partner along the way.”
The CM added that if they released water from the Okhla STP into the Yamuna, it would flow downstream to a certain part of Haryana that faces shortage of irrigation water. “If Haryana reciprocates and releases an equal amount of water downstream into Delhi from the northern part of the river, it will satisfy Delhi’s drinking water needs as well,” said Kejriwal.
As per a statement released by the CM’s office Monday, Shekhawat said the Centre and Delhi government were jointly working on water treatment plants of 2,000 million litres per day (MLD) altogether, including the Okhla STP.
He added that of the 298 projects sanctioned for cleaning the Yamuna, 14 were in Delhi.
“Water conservation needs to become a public movement for every citizen of Delhi and India. We will have to rise above our political and personal beliefs and unite to conserve water,” said Shekhawat.