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10.9 Million Litres of Untreated Sewage Flowing Into Powai Lake Daily: NGT

Recognised as a wetland, Powai lake is a man-made reservoir created in 1891 and serves as a habitat for crocodiles. Deemed unfit for drinking consumption in 1893, its water is now used for industrial purposes

Powai Lake

An eight-member panel appointed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) said, around 10.9 million litres of sewage flow directly into Lake Powai in Maharashtra every day. The sewers run through 19 natural sewers and drain in the slums and surrounding areas, including the campus of the National Institute of Electrical Engineering (NITE) and Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B).

The bench headed by Tribunal Chairman Adarsh Kumar Goel in an order passed on January 12, noted, “Water quality of the lake can lead to the killing of fish, affecting the crocodile-nesting sites, dependent of fish. Though certain initiatives are said to have been taken for restoration/revival of the lake and prevention of damage to the environment, the steps so far taken are not adequate and desired results are yet to be achieved.”

The committee asked the Mumbai-based civic body to provide a regional map of the sewage system near Lake Powai, covering an area of 2 km inside and outside the sewer network.  Connection status of the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) for treatment by zone and if required. The committee requested an action plan from the civic body to connect the areas that are not covered by the sewer network to the sewer network and connect them with STP.

The committee asked Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to provide real-time updates on the level of dissolved oxygen in Lake Pawai on its website. Currently, six real-time stations monitor dissolved oxygen at the site.

Noting that the “ground situation is far from satisfactory,” the NGT had constituted the committee to prepare an action plan covering all aspects, including steps to prevent the discharge of sewage or any other effluents in Powai lake and to monitor water quality, The Indian Express reported.

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