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Unscientific sewage disposal threatens Shimla's environs

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  21 April 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Shimla, April 20: Unscientific disposal of sewage and solid waste is threatening the pristine environment and water sources of the Queen of Hills, as Shimla was fondly called by the British colonial rulers. Its wooded deodars, Raj-style structures and chuckling peaks on the horizon may lure you, but it’s not an easygoing effort as the shortage of water and parking lots here will leave you high and dry. These observations came to light in the latest report of the Comptroller and Auditor General that highlights the idequacies of the Shimla Municipal Corporation. It says that just 13 percent of the sewage generated in Shimla is treated and the rest is left in the open - despite Rs.74 crore ($12 million) being spent for installing six treatment plants. Planned for a maximum population of 16,000, Shimla is home to 170,000 people as per the 2011 census and generates 30.09 million litres per day (MLD) of sewage. The CAG said the utilisation of six sewerage treatment plants was only 4.8 MLD (13 percent) against the installed capacity of 35.63 MLD. Worn-out sewers and non-existence of a sewerage network are the main reasons for non-tapping of sewage. It said the untreated sewage, which remained untapped, is left in the open, affecting the environment adversely. Then, approximately 85-90 tonnes of garbage is generated in the city daily, of which only 70 tonnes is treated. The CAG pointed out that 131,218 tonnes of garbage was generated during 2009-14 against which 124,100 tonnes was collected by the Shimla Municipal Corporation, resulting in short collection of 7,118 tonnes. Only 104,025 tonnes of garbage was transported for treatment and the remaining 27,193 tonnes remained untreated. The municipal corporation’s commissioner, in his reply to the CAG, spoke of limited means to transport the garbage, but admitted that the treatment plant was not utilized to its optimal capacity. (IANS)

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