In a groundbreaking move, the Kejriwal government has announced a comprehensive plan to clean and de-silt all trunk sewer lines of Delhi. This initiative, spearheaded by Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal, aims to provide immediate relief to the residents of Delhi from sewer line overflows, enhance the cleanliness of the Yamuna river, and effectively tackle the persistent issue of waterlogging on roads.
Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal reviewed the plan to undertake a complete cleaning of the sewer system in Delhi, a task never previously accomplished in the state, on Wednesday. This ambitious undertaking signifies a major commitment to prioritise the health and well-being of Delhi’s residents and the environment. The extensive cleaning process will be executed in five phases, ensuring that every sewer line within Delhi is meticulously cleaned within a span of five years.
In addition to the physical cleaning operations, Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal has instructed authorities to establish proper waste disposal systems for the waste extracted from the sewer lines. This vital measure reflects the government’s commitment to sustainable practices and ensuring the responsible handling of waste materials. By addressing the long-standing issue of sewer line overflows, this initiative aims to improve the overall quality of life for Delhi’s residents. The cleaning process will alleviate the risk of sanitation-related hazards, prevent water contamination in the Yamuna river, and mitigate the problem of waterlogging on roads during monsoon seasons.
The Chief Minister emphasised the importance of this historic step, stating that the cleaning of the entire sewer system in Delhi is a crucial milestone and by implementing regular cleaning and maintenance, the government will ensure a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable Delhi for generations to come.
CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal presided over a crucial review meeting where officials from the Delhi Jal Board showcased videos that shed light on the deplorable state of Delhi’s sewer system. The distressing visuals unequivocally revealed the dire condition of all sewer lines. Disturbingly, it came to light that a comprehensive cleaning of these trunk sewer lines has never been undertaken in the past. Often, in the past, when trunk sewer lines got clogged, they would be replaced by previous governments. Replacing them incurred significantly higher costs, and the level of filth would also increase. Moreover, only a small portion would be effectively cleaned. Digging up roads was necessary to lay sewer lines, which caused inconvenience to the general public. Additionally, the entire line would not be cleaned thoroughly.
Highlighting the urgent need for immediate action, he issued clear instructions to the Delhi Jal Board regarding the comprehensive cleaning of all trunk sewer lines in Delhi. The Chief Minister stressed the importance of utilising modern technology-based machines for efficient desilting operations across the entire sewer network. The Chief Minister also emphasised the gravity of the situation and directed officials to develop robust measures for the systematic disposal of waste extracted from the sewers.
To ensure transparency and accountability, the CM highlighted the need to document the desilting process through video recordings. These videos will serve as concrete evidence, enabling the government to assess the effectiveness of the cleaning efforts and ascertain whether the sewer lines have been adequately cleaned or not. Furthermore, he directed the implementation of a structured calendar system for the maintenance of all sewer lines. Following the cleaning of a particular sewer line, a comprehensive calendar will be prepared to ensure regular cleaning cycles, guaranteeing that each trunk sewer line receives attention at least once every five years. By adhering to this schedule, the government aims to uphold the cleanliness and functionality of Delhi’s sewer infrastructure.
Under this proactive approach, approximately 20% of the trunk sewer lines in Delhi will undergo cleaning each year. This strategic plan ensures that within a five-year timeframe, a minimum of 100% of the sewer lines will be cleaned at least once, leading to a significant improvement in the overall sanitation standards of the city.
During discussions, officials from the Delhi Jal Board highlighted the escalating issue of contaminated water caused by sewer overflows. It has become evident that certain areas in Delhi frequently experience sewer line overflows, primarily due to the clogging of trunk sewer lines. This, in turn, leads to internal sewer backflow in residential colonies and exacerbates the problem of overflow. Particularly during rainy days, the situation worsens, amplifying concerns regarding contaminated water. A long-term solution to this problem lies in regular desilting of sewer lines.
According to the officials, the total length of sewer lines in Delhi is approximately 9,000 kilometres. Presently, desilting work is already underway for a portion of these trunk sewer lines, employing advanced machinery.
In a related significant move, Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal has instructed the authorities to connect 100% of households in the Trans Yamuna area to the sewer lines. Emphasising the urgency of the matter, the Chief Minister urged officials to make concerted efforts to provide sewer connections to all houses in the Trans Yamuna area expeditiously. The target for accomplishing this feat is set for every year until June 2024, and the work should be executed in a phased manner. The successful completion of this initiative will eliminate sewage discharge into the drainage system, significantly improving the overall sanitation conditions.
Officials from the Delhi Jal Board also provided updates on the ongoing desilting efforts of trunk sewer lines in the city. Currently, cleaning operations are underway for approximately 90 kilometres of these crucial sewer lines across various locations.
The cleaning work includes the stretch from Yamuna Vihar Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) covering 7.65 kilometres, Rithala-Rohini STP covering 19.21 kilometres, Narela STP and Coronation Pillar STP covering 8.05 kilometres, Keshopur STP covering 2.84 kilometres, Nangloi STP covering 4.65 kilometres, Kondli STP in the East Zone covering 8.76 kilometres, Dwarka STP covering 27.10 kilometres, Okhla STP covering 11.51 kilometres, and 2.5 kilometres in Gravity Duct Number-1. Notably, desilting operations for 36.87 kilometres of trunk and peripheral sewer lines have been successfully completed thus far. The remaining cleaning work for these trunk sewer lines is expected to be finalised by the end of May-June 2023.
Furthermore, progress is also being made in surveying and estimating an additional 110 kilometres of sewer lines for future desilting. Initially, the plan is to desilt 45 kilometres of these sewer lines, with completion targeted for March 2024.
Additionally, officials shared details of the planning underway for the desilting of 530 kilometres of sewer lines. Under this comprehensive plan, sewer lines with a diameter of 1000 mm and above will be prioritised, covering a distance of 45 kilometres. This includes 20.2 kilometres in Keshopur STP, 9.9 kilometres in Okhla STP, 5.8 kilometres in Rohini-Rithala, and 9.1 kilometres in Yamuna Vihar. The cleaning operations for these sewer lines, totaling 45 kilometres, are scheduled to be accomplished by March 2024. For the remaining trunk sewer lines, spanning a length of 485 kilometres with diameters below 1000 mm, the cleaning work is set to be completed by December 2023.