Pune: MPCB Issues 15-Day Deadline For PCMC To Enhance Sewage Treatment Facilities

Pune: MPCB Issues 15-Day Deadline For PCMC To Enhance Sewage Treatment Facilities

Pune: MPCB Issues 15-Day Deadline For PCMC To Enhance Sewage Treatment Facilities

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May 18, 2024 

The PCMC is required to propose both short-term and long-term measures to prevent untreated sewage discharge into rivers.

The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has issued a new directive to the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) demanding a time-bound action plan for the upgrade of existing sewage treatment plants (STPs) following ongoing complaints about river pollution in the region. The directive, issued on May 15, aims to address the untreated sewage water discharged into rivers and nullahs from Pimpri-Chinchwad.

The directive follows a personal hearing held on April 29, where the MPCB discussed with the PCMC multiple cases registered with the National Green Tribunal (NGT) regarding river pollution. During the hearing, the MPCB identified significant flaws in the functioning of the existing STPs managed by the PCMC.

According to the MPCB’s findings, the PCMC generates approximately 353 million liters per day (MLD) of domestic effluent, of which only 300 MLD is treated. The remaining 53 MLD of untreated sewage is discharged directly into various nullahs, which eventually flow into the rivers in Pimpri-Chinchwad. 

In the catchment area of the Pawana River, the installed sewage treatment capacity is 260 MLD, but only 229 MLD is treated, leaving 31 MLD of untreated sewage flowing into the river. Furthermore, there are no STPs for the treatment of domestic effluent from the Kudalwadi, Chikhali, Moshi, and Talwade areas, resulting in untreated sewage being discharged into nullahs that feed into the Indrayani River.

The MPCB’s letter emphasised that the water quality from all existing STPs does not meet prescribed standards. Consequently, the board has directed the PCMC to submit a detailed, time-bound action plan for upgrading the STPs within 15 days to ensure compliance with effluent standards. 

“The board has taken serious cognizance of water pollution in the rivers flowing from the PCMC,” said Ravindra Andhale, Regional Officer, MPCB. “Despite repeated directives, pollution levels have not improved. Untreated sewage water is a prominent source of pollution, and we have asked the PCMC to submit a time-bound action plan for STP upgradation.”

Currently, the PCMC operates a total of 16 STPs. Five of these were commissioned before 2003 and are designed for treated effluent with a Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) parameter of 30 mg/litre. Nine STPs, commissioned between 2003 and 2013, are designed for a BOD parameter of 20 mg/litre, while the two newest STPs, commissioned in December 2023, are designed for a BOD parameter of 10 mg/litre.