New Delhi: A parliamentary panel has expressed "distress" over an overwhelming number of sanitation and drainage projects remaining incomplete, noting that 4,861 cities in the country do not have even a partial sewerage network.The existing set-up cannot handle the problems of cities, including even mega cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai, noted the Standing Committee on Urban Development.The panel has asked the housing and urban poverty alleviation ministry to take proactive steps for completion of sewerage and drainage projects under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM)."Almost 50 percent of households in cities like Bangalore and Hyderabad do not have sewerage connection. Only 21 percent of the waste water is treated," the panel said."Of the 79 sewerage treatment plants under state ownership, 46 were operating under very poor condition and less than 20 percent of road network is covered by storm water drains. In view of this, sewerage system in India is suffering from poor maintenance."The existing set up simply cannot handle the problems of cities including mega cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai," the panel added.The report, which was tabled in parliament last week, noted that 4,861 of 5,161 cities in the country do not have even a partial sewerage network.It said the sewerage disposal system in major cities like Delhi was releasing untreated water directly or indirectly into water bodies without removing harmful compounds despite court orders and this was causing severe environmental hazards.
Health of urban poor worse than rural poor: Parliamentary panel
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