Enzyme treatment proposed for two major drains in city

Barapullah and Supplementary drains were to be cleaned by the method, no formal proposal yet

At a time when even the Supreme Court has expressed concern over the condition of the Yamuna, after being told that the river is "merely a drain (that) does not have fresh water after Wazirabad", the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) is still sitting on its enzyme treatment project to clean two main drains in the city.

In a recent meeting, chaired by Chief Secretary P K Tripathi, heritage panel INTACH proposed using enzyme treatment to clean Barapullah and Supplementary drains.

In the treatment, bacteria is introduced into the drain. They consume all the build-up in the drain, bringing down biological oxygen demand in the water.

"This process also allows root zone treatment by planting select trees that give oxygen. At a later stage, a particular variety of fish is put in the drains to eat up the remaining organic matter," a senior DJB official said.

DJB CEO Debashree Mukherjee said: "INTACH has proposed enzyme treatment for two drains. Najafgarh drain has not been included as it is very big. INTACH is yet to come up with a formal proposal and the cost analysis, so nothing has been finalised so far."

According to DJB, the interceptor sewer project — with four major components — is an integrated approach towards ensuring that zero sewage flows in to the Yamuna. The project was initiated with a 2012 deadline, but only 26 per cent of it is complete so far.

The first, and the most important part, of the project is the laying of interceptor sewers to tap minor drains carrying sewage to the three main drains in the city — Najafgarh, Supplementary and Shahdara.

According to the detailed project report prepared by the consultants hired by DJB, 60 km sewers will be laid parallel to the three main drains to tap nearly 135 minor drains. The interceptors would tap sewage from 40 per cent of the city and the sewage will be diverted to the treatment plants.

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