Capital’s only sewage treatment plant becomes functional after four years

Published January 6, 2021
The sewage treatment plant in I-9 had been non-functional since 2016. — File photo
The sewage treatment plant in I-9 had been non-functional since 2016. — File photo

ISLAMABAD: After four years, the city managers on Tuesday restored the only sewage treatment plant (STP) of the city to put it into use for horticulture purposes.

The plant was established in 2009 in I-9 at a whopping cost of Rs2.72 billion but later the facility lost its utility due to negligence of the Capital Development Authority (CDA).

After remaining partially functional, the plant was shut down in 2016.

CDA Chairman Amer Ali Ahmed, Member Engineering Ayaz Khan and other officials visited the site and inspected the plant.

The chairman directed that trees be planted in and around the STP building.

“This plant has the capacity to treat 14 million gallons per day (mgd). However, at the moment, it has been made functional to treat 7mgd. We will ensure its maximum utilisation,” the CDA chairman said.

l At present it will treat 7mgd of sewage against its capacity of 14mgd l Director sanitation says polluted nullahs to be cleaned

Speaking to Dawn, Mr Ahmed said the environment wing had been directed to depute tankers from next week to supply water from the plant to various horticultural points in the city like parks, playgrounds and greenbelts.

“Staff deputed at the plant will be given special allowance as they are working to make the city clean and green,” he said.

Director Sanitation Sardar Khan Zimri said Rs200 million had been released for improving the network of trunk lines for the smooth flow of sewage to the STP.

“We have already called tenders for improving the sewerage network. Once the broken lines are repaired, we will receive almost 10-12mgd of sewage for treatment,” Mr Zimri said.

The director said a tank having a capacity of 20,000 gallons of water would also be constructed while cameras and heavy lights installed to ensure security of the STP.

He said a latest laboratory had also been set up to check the quality of treated water.

It is relevant to note that the federal auditors in their 2016-17 report had pointed out that millions of rupees were being wasted on the STP.

The report had said that the CDA had wasted money on treating sewage and discharging the effluent into Leh Nullah without ensuring water quality.

The main objective of the STP was to treat municipal sewage from Islamabad and use it for horticulture purposes and discharge it into Leh Nullah to a degree where it could support aquatic flora and fauna.

Initially, the CDA got the treated water to use for watering plants and also discharging it into the nullah. But, sources said releasing water into the nullah was a useless exercise and a waste of money as the nullah was very filthy and releasing treated water into it would make no difference.

The sources said almost all 20 nullahs of the capital were polluted and required to be cleaned immediately.

“I would say the entire treated sewage/water from the plant should be utilised for horticulture purpose by the environment wing and not discharged into the filthy nullah,” an official of the wing said.

When the director sanitation was asked about the polluted nullahs, he rhetorically stated that the nullahs would be cleaned through general cleanliness and by setting up wetlands.

Published in Dawn, January 6th, 2021

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