Increased Budgetary Outlays for Water & Sewer Networks

Between 2015 and 2019, the AAP govt spent Rs 8,147 crores on construction of water and sewer pipelines in unauthorised colonies. 

(Note: Rs 1,186 crores was spent in the 2002-2014 period.)

The subsidy provided in the last few years for free lifeline water has been as follows:

  • 2018-2019 – 35 crore subsidy per month to 5.3 lakh consumers
  • 2019-2020 – subsidy to 6 lakh consumers
  • 2020-2021 – 44 crore subsidy per month to 6.58 lakh consumers

(Source: Status Reports of Outcome Budgets)

Mandates Given to the Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd. (DSIIDC)

The AAP Delhi government has given a lot of importance to the work of constructing roads, sewers, and parks for people residing in the unauthorised colonies and slums of Delhi. The DSIIDC has been entrusted with the work of providing basic infrastructure like roads & storm water drains in unauthorised colonies of Delhi.

A> Initiatives by the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB)

Due to the commendable efforts of DUSIB, by Mar 2021, all the slums of NDMC, SDMC, and EDMC had been declared ‘Open Defecation Free’. 

By then, it had provided 674 Jan Suvidha Complexes with 21,586 Western seats. In 619 of these slums, 10,16,531 metres of concrete pavements and 250 kilometres of drains have been constructed.

B> New Sewer Connection Projects in Kirari Inaugurated

On 14th Mar 2021, the Delhi CM inaugurated a Rs. 480 crore sewer project in Kirari, which will benefit residents of 114 unauthorised colonies in Mundka and Kirari. Nearly 7.25 Delhi citizens live in these colonies. The project is scheduled to be completed over a 4-year time period and is expected to help reduce pollution in the Yamuna.

C> Expanding the Sewer Network in Unauthorised Colonies

  • 903 unauthorised colonies were connected to Sewer pipelines (including ongoing work) in just the 5 years from 2015 to 2019.

(Note: Only 227 unauthorised colonies got sewer lines in the period 2002-2014.)

(Source: Delhi Dialogue and Development Commission Performance Report 2015-2019)

  • 602 unauthorised colonies have been connected with sewerage network upto Dec 2020. (Source: Status Report of Outcome Budget 2020-2021)
  • The data for the last few years – total no. of unauthorised colonies connected with sewerage network as of this date:
    • Mar 2018 – 269
    • Dec 2018 – 345
    • Dec 2019 – 550
    • Dec 2020 – 602
  • Aggregating, 2735 km of sewer lines have been laid in unauthorised colonies upto Dec 2020. (Source: Status Report of Outcome Budget 2020-2021)
  • This is data for the last few years – total km of sewer pipelines laid in unauthorised colonies as of this date:
    • Mar 2018: 1840 km
    • Dec 2018: 2024 km
    • Dec 2020: 2735 km
  • A total of 1221 km of sewer lines have been replaced in regularised unauthorised colonies upto Dec 2020. (Source: Status Report of Outcome Budget 2020-2021)
  • This is the data for the last few years – total number of km of old/defective sewer pipelines replaced as of this date:
    • Mar 2018 – 873 km
    • Dec 2018 – 937 km
    • Dec 2019 – 1096 km
    • Dec 2020 – 1221 km

D> Connecting All Households to the Sewer Network

On 12th Nov 2021, Satyendar Jain, Delhi Water Minister, said the government plans to connect all households under “sewered areas” with the existing sewer network by June 2022. 109 colonies have been identified for laying sewer pipelines.

He also said no household will be allowed to discharge wastewater into nearby drains or Yamuna – the sewer lines that discharge sewage into the city’s stormwater drains will be disconnected by 31st Mar 2022.

Water Minister Satyendar Jain, on 4th Mar 2022 laid the foundation stone of an 80Km long sewer line in Shahbad GOC which will benefit 16 unauthorized colonies in Bawana and Narela Constituency.

He also inaugurated the work of laying a 10Km Sewer Line in Singhu Group of colonies of Narela. This will benefit many unauthorised colonies and all the nearby villages.

On 5th Mar 2022, Mr. Jain inaugurated the work of laying of 71.51 km long sewer line in Sangam Vihar and Deoli constituencies. The same day approval was given for a 575 kms sewer line covering Shahbad, Sangam Vihar, Jafarpur, Galibpur, Sarangpur, Goyal Vihar, Kilokri, Kanganheri and Dichaol group of colonies. 

The following day, the foundation stone was laid for a large network of sewer lines in 8 colonies & 11 villages of Matiala Constituency. The Water Minister also announced that a 350 KM long sewer network is to be laid at the cost of ₹450 Crore in Najafgarh. This project is slated to be completed in record time of 1 yr, covering 76 Colonies & 16 Villages.

DateLocalities/Unauthorized ColoniesLengthProject Status
4th Mar 2022Shahbad GOC, Bawana, Narela constituencies80 kmsWork started
4th Mar 2022Singhu group of colonies in Narela10 kmsWork started
5th Mar 2022Sangam Vihar and Deoli constituencies71.51 kmsWork started
5th Mar 2022Shahbad, Sangam Vihar, Jafarpur, Galibpur, Sarangpur, Goyal Vihar, Kilokri, Kanganheri and Dichaol group of colonies575 kms Approval for project given
6th Mar 20228 colonies & 11 villages of Matiala constituency-unknown-Work started
6th Mar 202276 colonies & 16 villages in Najafgarh350 kmsProject announced


“Delhi Govt is working rigorously to improve Delhi’s sewerage infrastructure to achieve its vision of cleaning the Yamuna river.” – Satyendar Jain, Water Minister, 4th Mar 2022

E> Mukhyamantri Muft Sewer Connection Yojana

On 19th Nov, 2019, CM Arvind Kejriwal announced the Mukhyamantri Muft Sewer Connection Yojana (last date: 31st March 2020). It covers those households where sewage lines have been laid but residents have not installed sewers on account of the high cost. As many as 2,34,000 houses in 787 colonies are set to benefit from the scheme. 

This scheme is designed to avoid dumping of wastewater into storm water drains and the Yamuna. 

Under the new scheme, consumers who apply for a connection would not have to pay development charges, connection charges or road cutting charges. 

As per the government’s estimation, a 25 sq mt house would save over Rs 19,000 under the scheme and a 100 sq mt house would save more than Rs 26,000.

Okhla Barrel Project

On 16th Sep 2021, Delhi Water Minister Mr. Satyendar Jain noted that by adopting a new technology, the Okhla barrel project earlier budgeted for Rs 662 crore can now be completed in just Rs 60 crore – a saving of Rs 600 crore. A 15 km long pipeline carrying 115 MGD of polluted water can now be built at a cost of only Rs 60 crore.

Instructions were given for laying down a new pipeline of 2200 mm diameter made of High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) material parallel to existing conduits toward the Okhla Sewage Treatment Plan (STP).

Rehabilitation of old barrels was also planned to be completed at the earliest. 

Once completed, there will be 4 functional conduits in the area, augmenting the sewage carrying capacity in these pipelines.

Sewer cleaning

The AAP Government has taken several measures to end deaths due to manual sewer cleaning.

A> 200 Sewer Cleaning Machines Developed by the DJB

On 2nd Mar 2019, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal flagged off 200 sewer cleaning machines. These machines were given to 200 people who were previously engaged in manual sewer cleaning work.

Scheme rolled out to family members of personnel who died during manual scavenging. The AAP govt facilitates loans for purchase of the vans and machines.

These machines can clean manholes up to 30 feet deep. They can also enter lanes as narrow as six feet which will allow the sanitation workers to clean the sewers without having to endanger their lives.

 (Source: Tweet from Dinesh Mohaniya, AAP Delhi MLA)

B> Robots for Cleaning Sewers

In Feb 2019, the Delhi Government said that it was in talks with a Kerala-based company (Genrobotics) for procurement of sewer and septic tank cleaning robots. 

The robot, Bandicoot, has many cameras, a robotic arm with 360-degree mobility and a handy bucket to collect the waste. It only requires a human operator to stand on the street near the manhole for navigation when the manhole is of non-standard size or there are multiple sewer lines below.

Minister Rajendra Pal Gautham said though no other company has approached them with these types of robots so far, the government will still float a tender to purchase robots with certain altered specifications to suit Delhi’s needs.

C> Free Septic Tank Cleaning Scheme

On 15th Nov 2019, CM Arvind Kejriwal announced that people living in unauthorised colonies who have not yet connected to the sewer network and only have septic tanks can call a government helpline number and get their tanks cleaned free of charge. The CM noted that this is an important measure to end deaths due to manual scavenging.

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OT Editor