State to set deadline for 100% sewage water treatment

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To take forward the Bhima river pollution control plan, the state government will set a deadline for the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) to ensure 100 per cent sewage water is treated before releasing it into the river basin. Notices are being sent to both the civic bodies.

State environment minister and newly appointed Pune guardian minister Sachin Ahir who held a meeting to review the Bhima pollution control plan on Thursday told Newsline that treatment of 100 per cent sewage water is essential. "We have figures that show 177 MLD of untreated water is released by the PMC and 48 MLD by the PCMC. They have to give us a time frame for 100 per cent treatment,'' said Ahir. The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has been asked to issue the notices to the civic bodies and seek a time frame.

According to Regional Officer A D Mohekar, the notices will be issued to both the corporations. "Besides the corporations, ten municipal councils, the Cantonments and villages in the basin let out untreated water. We need to address the issue,'' said Mohekar.

The Rs 700-crore Bhima river action plan is to be funded by the state and the central governments. Ahir said he would make sure the plan is implemented and adequate funds are allotted by the State and the Centre. The central government had cleared Rs 5 crore for the Detailed Project Report (DPR), which is in the works.

The corporations had earlier said at least three sewage treatment plants would be set up in PMC and Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) to treat 100 per cent sewage water. Two sewage treatment plants are already operational.

Among various tributaries of the Bhima in the district — Bhima itself is a tributary of the Krishna — Mula, Mutha, Pavana and Indrayani pass through PMC and PCMC limits. The Bhima later meets Ujani Dam outside Pune district.

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